Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog
Read by Pamela Lorence
Summary from GoodReads:
Some secrets are worth killing to protect.
Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.
Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows and breaking all the rules to be with Z. She can’t get enough of him—or unraveling the stories of the family he’s determined to keep hidden.
Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Straight-laced Vic is hiding her own secrets…secrets that are about to destroy everything in her path.
This book was a total surprise! I was chugging along, liking the characters and the story, but thought I had it all figured out. I thought it was your typical teen obsession gone terribly wrong, and it was, but the final twist made my jaw drop! I did not see it coming. This is a hard review to write because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but if you like teen obsession/murder mysteries with a totally unexpected ending, then you must read this book!
I started out liking Victoria, she is someone I could relate to, having had similar experiences in high school as her. I’m sure if someone like Z had paid attention to me I would have gotten a little bit obsessive too, just not to Vic’s scale, (I hope). She is our sole narrator, except for police interviews and newspaper articles placed at the end of chapters. She is telling her story to her boyfriend Andrew, and you really can’t help but feel sorry for her. Her relationship with Andrew is very sweet, based on the fact that they have lived next door to each other since they were little. It was sad to see that relationship suffer once Z entered the picture.
Ah Z, what a great character. You want to hate him, because you suspect throughout most of the book that he harms Victoria in some way, but he is just so charming and funny. He has had a hard life, and you can’t help but feel sorry for him. I think it would have been interesting to see his side of the whole story, but that would have spoiled the ending I think. He really did care for Victoria and wanted to help her, he just went about it wrong. In the end he made some very bad decisions regarding her and her story.
You know from the start that someone has been murdered, you are just never told who until close to the end or who committed the crime. The police interviews are insightful, but I was annoyed by them at first. Eventually I saw how they helped move the story and how they helped the reader get glimpses into how others perceived what was really going on.
The reader Pamela Lorence did an outstanding job. I enjoyed listening to her. She made Victoria into a real and likable person, who was caught up in a drama of her own making. She also did a good job of sounding like a very charming and somewhat manipulative teenage boy.
I highly recommend this book, not just the audiobook. It is a fantastic read and hard to put down. The twist at the end will surely shock you!