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Title: The Sound
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: May 13, 2014
Rec. Age Level: 14+
Ren Kingston is happy to leave England and her ex behind and spend the summer nannying for a wealthy family on Nantucket Island. She's sworn off guys and drama, but her plans quickly go awry when she meets the alluring Jeremy and his trust fund friends. Jeremy is sweet, but Ren is drawn to the locals, especially Jesse, who she's constantly being warned away from. Despite Nantucket being picturesque, there's darkness in the shadows. The previous summer a foreign nanny was found dead on the beach and, for unknown reasons, Jesse nearly beat a trust fund vacationer to death. Ren's simple summer become complicated as she finds herself straddling the line between Jesse and Jeremy's worlds. Things only escalate when the Nantucket Nanny Killer strikes again.
This was my first read by Sarah Alderson, but it won't be my last. I was immediately hooked by the mystery and British expat main character who takes on dark rumors, mean girls, and a deadly killer during her time abroad.
I was highly amused Ren's commentary on American culture and her use of British colloquialisms. Ren has that stereotypical dry sense of humor and snark that I associate with Brits and I loved her for it. She also wasn't above mocking herself, like when she was drawn to Jesse. She basically comes out and tells herself not to be a Bella Swan.
It's such a bore when the killer can be determined within within a few chapters of starting a novel, but Alderson kept me guessing with THE SOUND. Things are much more complicated than they first appear and things take an even more serious turn than I expected. I mean, a serial killer is pretty serious, but, oddly, that didn't seem like the darkest part of the novel by the end.
My one issue with THE SOUND, which I'm still feeling divided about, was somewhat gratuitous slut shaming. I'm still working through my feelings about this aspect of the novel because, in ways, the slut shaming is actually integral to the development of some important events and character growth. Other times, however, it's used casually and I'm not sure how to feel about that. In the end, it gave me pause, but it didn't bother to the point of lessening my enjoyment of the novel.
Readers in search of high stakes mystery and a complicated romance will devour THE SOUND.