Published by Kids Can Press on September 1, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, mystery
Source: ARC from Publisher
Caroline Lawson is three months away from freedom, otherwise known as graduation day. That's when she'll finally escape her rigid prep school and the parents who thought they could convert her to being straight.
Until then, Caroline is keeping her head down, pretending to be the perfect student even though she is crushed by her family and heartbroken over the girlfriend who left for California.
But when her best friend Madison disappears, Caroline feels compelled to get involved in the investigation. She has her own reasons not to trust the police, and she owes Madison — big time.
Suddenly Caroline realizes how little she knew of what her friend was up to. Caroline has some uncomfortable secrets about the hours before Madison disappeared, but they're nothing compared to the secrets Madison has been hiding. And why does Mr. McCormack, their teacher, seem to know so much about them?
It's only when Caroline discovers other missing girls that she begins to close in on the truth. Unlike Madison, the other girls are from the wrong side of the tracks. Unlike Madison's, their disappearances haven't received much attention. Caroline is determined to find out what happened to them and why no one seems to notice. But as every new discovery leads Caroline closer to the connection between these girls and Madison, she faces an unsettling truth.
There's only one common denominator between the disappearances: Caroline herself.
Throwaway Girls is a young adult mystery by Andrea Contos. I have become a big fan of mysteries and thrillers this year, and I thought Throwaway Girls was a book that got better as it went on. The ending of this mystery truly surprised me, which made the whole book even better in my opinion. I had a few issues with the characters in the story, but I was a fan of the overall mystery. If you are a fan of mysteries that have a slow build but a good climax, then I think Throwaway Girls is a book you will want to check out.
In Throwaway Girls, we meet our main character Caroline. Caroline is a senior in high school, who can’t wait to move away and go to college. There are a lot of things going on in Caroline’s life, including parents who are not supportive of Caroline being a lesbian, so they have her in conversion therapy. Those things we very secondary to the main mystery plotline and at times, I felt like they were just thrown in there as an aside, but they didn’t really add all that much to the overall story. The main mystery involves Caroline’s best friend Madison, who goes missing. When Caroline tries to help find her friend, she uncovers so many secrets. The whole thing becomes much bigger than she expected, and honestly bigger than I expected initially. I didn’t love Caroline to be honest. I loved how hard she tried to find Madison, which redeemed her in my eyes, but she came off as a little whiny in my opinion.
Throwaway Girls has a bit of a slow start. But once I pushed through the first 20% of the story or so, the pacing really started to pick up, and from there I was hooked. I loved uncovering each secret because the story seemed to expand and just kept getting better and better. The mystery was twisty and surprising and I loved the ending. My least favorite part of Throwaway girls were the sheer number of minor characters. I had a bit of a hard time keeping everyone straight, but the number of characters did make it a lot harder for me to guess or try to solve the mystery. Mystery fans will enjoy Throwaway Girls. I really liked this book. I did have some issues with it, but I enjoyed the overall mystery presented.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- ARCtober 2020