Review: Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

I received this book for free from Gifted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Nearly Gone by Elle CosimanoNearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Series: Nearly Gone #1
Published by Kathy Dawson on March 25, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Thriller
Pages: 388
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
AmazonThe Book Depository

Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.

This week has been different from the norm in that I’ve been really enjoying mysteries. I wasn’t sure about Nearly Gone, because the reviews of it varied so drastically among reviewers I trust. Most were sort of meh about it, but a couple loved it. When the sequel arrived, I knew the time had come to try the ARC of Nearly Gone that Shae (Shae Has Left the Room) sent me after she adored the mystery. To my surprise, Nearly’s voice captured me immediately, and I devoured this thriller.

Though I complain about stupid character names a lot, I’m not bothered by Nearly’s. My rule is that, if it’s a contemporary novel, kids would make fun of an abnormal name, because lbr kids are mean. Nearly has been made fun of for her name to the degree that she prefers to be called Leigh.

In school, Leigh works really hard, determined to land a scholarship to college so that she can get out of the trailer park where she lives. Her mom doesn’t make enough money dancing at the local gentlemen’s club to pay for college, so she sees the scholarship as her one shot. She’s vying with her friend, Anh, for the top spot, but Leigh’s in second place by a slim margin. Leigh is hardworking, skilled at science and math, and incredibly feisty once you get to know her. All Leigh wants is to land that scholarship and to avoid the notice of the bullies.

Ever since her dad left them, Leigh has read the Missed Connections section of the newspaper, because occasionally he would leave hints so she could meet up with him. One day, she notices a strange add, one that seems related to an attack on a student. She also notices the dead cat left on her doorstep with a menacing note, which was completely unnecessary by the way. Bodies pile up, all connected to Nearly, and she has no damn clue why because she’s never done anything bad to anyone.

They mystery’s actually good, I would say. There are so many people who could have done it, pretty much the whole cast actually. The pieces were there, I think, to allow the reader to put it together, though I failed to guess correctly. I’m actually REALLY glad that my theory was not correct, because I would have hated that so much. Nearly Gone was a lot more vicious, dark and creepy than I’d anticipated. Shae, you surprise me.

Though I completely devoured this book and loved the voice, there were a couple things that did bother me about Nearly Gone. I already mentioned the emotionally manipulative cat death. The death of View Spoiler » also bothered me. Actually, the number of deaths in a short timeframe, so obviously linked, seemed out of place with the reaction in the town. They didn’t cancel prom or put special measures into place, aside from warning parents, even though there was obviously a serial murderer on the loose. Ummm no.

The romance was also not my favorite part of Nearly Gone. For the most part, I actually did like Reece and Nearly together. They do seem to have a real bond, and I could see them working down the road. However, there’s sort of an instatrust/instalove that happens between them that seems even more ridiculous under these circumstances where they know from the beginning that the other is keeping a secret. Plus, Reece forces their first kiss on her. He had reasons, yes, and I do love surprise kisses and subterfuge kisses, but she actually bit him and hit him. This wasn’t a “we have to kiss because fake dating,” but we both agreed to it and love it. She did not want the kiss, and it made me really uncomfortable. They’re not to unship levels, but with a bit more time and a bit less violence at the start, I would have been a much bigger fan of the ship.

Also, that last chapter. I’m actually struggling to put into words how I feel about the way things played out. We get this recap of events after the showdown, because Nearly’s not really there for all of it. What we learn is that View Spoiler » Otherwise, the ending was pretty strong, closing off with the impetus for book two.

Nearly Gone was nearly a BIG hit with me, but it fell short on a few elements. Still, I remain hopeful that the sequel will be even better. Cosimano can write a strong voice, so I suspect there are great things to come from her.

Favorite Quote:

“Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t calculate the probability of having a good time at a dance.”

“Sure I can. Me at the dance is a singular event. Me enjoying myself at the dance is one of only two possible outcomes of said event. If the event and the outcome are mutually exclusive, it is safe to conclude that there is no possible way in hell I would have fun at the dance.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif do not hurt my friends spencer pll

4 responses to “Review: Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano”

  1. Lyn Kaye says:

    “She also notices the dead cat left on her doorstep with a menacing note, which was completely unnecessary by the way.”

    I was SERIOUSLY going to get this novel….until this.

    Thank you for the warning. You saved me from an DNF.

    I was loving the premise, and I would have snapped this up in an instance.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Counting BackwardsMy Profile

  2. I love mystery, especially with a dose of paranormal, so I will be giving this a try at some point. Like you, I have seen a wide range of opinions concerning this book. Sometimes we just have to find out for ourselves. I am a little worried about that last chapter. The ending can make or break the entire book.
    Suzi Q, The Book Dame recently posted…Kestrel Is Crazy Stupid! The Winner’s Crime by Maria RutkoskiMy Profile

  3. I had much the same response. NO TO CAT DEATHS. But still, I was so into this one that it wasn’t an automatic DNF which is what happens in 99% of cases. I thought the mystery was incredibly smart and well done.
    Lenore Appelhans recently posted…Announcing the Among the Shadows Anthology!My Profile

  4. Score for me! So glad you liked it. And you should never, ever be surprised by the level of creep I enjoy. Unless there are clowns involved. That’s a shade too far.
    Shae/Shelver @ Shae Has Left The Room recently posted…BEA Week Break!My Profile

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