Monday, August 26, 2013

Seven Minutes in Heaven by Sara Shepard

Summary (from Goodreads):
My sister wants the truth.

But sometimes the truth hurts.

For months, my long-lost twin, Emma, has been living my life and trying to solve my murder. She's unearthed dark secrets about my friends, my family, and my tangled past. But when it comes to finding my killer, she keeps running into dead ends.

Until my body shows up in Sabino Canyon. Suddenly everyone knows there are two girls who look like Sutton Mercer—and that one of them is dead. At first the police assume the body is Emma's. But as questions and accusations start flying, it's harder than ever for Emma to keep playing me. The truth is bound to come out eventually. And when it does, Emma will be suspect number one in my murder investigation. If she can't find my killer before time runs out, she'll end up behind bars . . . or worse.

Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, finally reveals the shocking truth about Sutton's murder in this riveting novel about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.
Hands down, this last book was my favorite in the whole series.  Things have gone way beyond notes left on windshields, creepy Youtube videos, and teen girl pranks in this last book. For starters, a good friend dies in the book previous. And this book begins with a sad funeral, but it also begins with the knowledge of the girl dying because of something Emma did. Sutton’s murderer is telling Emma that all bets are off; anything can happen to someone who knows too much.
The stakes are so much higher in this one. Secrets are let out. And just when Emma could seriously use the help of her new, beloved family, they kick her out (they literally change the locks) because they assume (with the rest of the planet) that she killed Sutton! This book literally had me crying for a few pages. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I took myself out to dinner, and mostly ignored my dinner…I was the crazy girl glued to her book, in the middle of a popular Japanese restaurant on a Saturday night (but hey, I have a good lunch for today!).
Granted, while I was at dinner, Emma had discovered who the killer was and she was trapped in an abandoned house with him/her (I can’t tell you who or even what gender the killer is; I just can’t spoil this). And it does not end right when she discovers who it is! There is a lot of outsmarting, running away, and fighting back. There’s also a lot more supernatural moments with Sutton’s ghost.
This book seriously has it all. It’s one of the largest books I’ve seen by Shepard, and I’m okay with this. I rather it be large and get it all, than small and feel rushed. There were trials, attacks, funerals (2!), breaking and entering, revenge, pranks, parties, love triangles, family secrets revealed, and everything (literally everything) was out of the bag!
You can probably tell I loved it.  I kind of wish the killer was someone else because I totally guessed this in the beginning. However, I feel like I’m really good at picking up clues in these kinds of books (lots of experience reading them, and also lots of experience watching cop shows). And maybe not the whole world will guess who it is…but probably they will. But, on the other hand, this made so much sense. And it all fit together nicely.
I kind of wish that the middle books in the series read more like this last one. I feel like there were some definite filler books (where not much happens), and I would prefer to have a couple of good long books that cover everything I need, than have a whole series of books that don’t really need to happen. Each book before this one was about clearing the names of someone or other in Sutton’s life. And while it’s great that Emma can truly trust her new family, I feel like it was all kind of unnecessary. It was a little too much about trusting her family and not quite enough about the murderer that was after her.
This book was a great ending to an okay series. The suspense made it un-put-down-able.  The mystery was great. The drama hit the roof. And I actually felt really bad for Emma, a character I never actually had too much empathy for (despite her rocky upbringing). I wish the whole series read more like this last book. This book gets a 10/10 from me. Rarely, am I this okay with a series end. (But, I’d give the series as a whole an 8/10).

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