Author: Sarah Lynn Scheerger
Published Date: Sept 1, 2015
Length: 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller
Age Group: Young Adults
After her high school is rocked by an anonymous bomb threat, “perfect student” Gabriella Mallory is recruited to work on a secret crisis helpline that may help uncover the would-be bomber’s identity.
Gabriella Mallory, AP student and perfect-daughter-in-training, stands barefoot on a public toilet for three hours while her school is on lockdown. Someone has planted a bomb and she is hiding. The bomb is defused but the would-be-bomber is still at large. And everyone at Central High School is a suspect. The school starts a top-secret crisis help line and Gabi is invited to join. When she does, she is drawn into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse with the bomber, who has unfinished business. He leaves threatening notes on campus. He makes threatening calls to the help line. And then he begins targeting Gabi directly. Is it because her father is the lead police detective on the case? Is the bomber one of her new friends. Could it be her new boyfriend with his complicated past? As the story unfolds, Gabi knows she is somehow connected to the bomber. Even worse she is part of his plan. Can Gabi reach out and stop him? Or will she be too late?
I really like the meaning behind this book. However, I still couldn’t bring myself to love it. This suppose to be a mystery, thriller book. And this kind of genre tends to engage readers to the story. Unfortunately, for me, Are You Still There didn’t bring me the feeling of engaging while reading it. The words couldn’t pull me in enough to enjoy it, and although I soon realized this book is more about bully in school (which is a great subject to bring up for discussion, and also very meaningful, don’t get me wrong), still, I couldn’t bring myself to love it.
The characters in Are You Still There are quite shallow and childish, and also very dramatic, which is the part that ticked me out the most. The story pace is quite normal, but due to the rather dull writing, the story didn’t give me the gripping effect it suppose to. I love the meaning and the writing idea, but this is one of those one-time-read books that I would probably not going to pick up again.