Mystery/Thriller (Teen), YA Fiction

Review: Copycat by Hannah Jayne

A YA thriller about a girl whose love of fan fiction lands her at the center of a murder case.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This blog contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you decide to buy books via the Amazon or Book Depository purchase links available in the book review's post.

Most of the thrillers I read are for an adult audience, so I was quite interested to see how a thriller written with a teen audience in mind would differ. I also thought the premise, which involved fan fiction, was an interesting one. I decided to request this novel and give it a chance. Here is my review:

Copycat book cover book cover


by Hannah Jayne

Published June 3, 2018 by
ISBN: 149264739X

Data from Goodreads

Summary (Goodreads): Everyone is dying to read the latest book in the popular Gap Lake mystery series, and Addison is no exception. As the novels biggest fan, Addison is flattered when the infamously reclusive author, R.J. Rosen, contacts her, granting her inside information others would kill for.

But when the most popular girl in Addison’s high school is murdered, Addison can’t help but think that life may be imitating fiction. And as other terrifying events from the book start happening around her, Addison has to figure out how to write her own ending -and survive the story.

My Review

Well …. I didn’t like this book.

The Pros: What worked for me

  • This book was a fast and easy read. Things moved along quite quickly and there were quite a few interesting moments that had a lot of tension and even some gore.
  • I also liked the dual narrative style with one taking place in reality and one taking place in the fictional Gap Lake. 

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • The writing style was extremely juvenile. The author’s forced attempts to make the narrative style sound like that of a teenager only served to make it sound artificial and unnatural. This meant that it was really hard to connect with the characters.
  • I also don’t think things were set up very well. The connections between the different individuals was not developed too much; it was as if the author just wanted us to assume the characters were close (or not close). Considering that this story is all about being suspicious about people, this was not a good thing.
  • I also thought that the motive and the murderer’s identity were developed in a very lazy way. It simply didn’t make sense. When I read that part of the story, I had to reread it to make sure I understood it properly. My frustration was that the motivation was so far-fetched and there was barely any background to it, making it feel very much like a last-minute decision.

I think that the author really tried to come up with a unique story that would be appealing to a teen audience. But the juvenile writing combined with the lack of proper set up just didn’t work for me. Simply put …. it just wasn’t that good. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 1/5 stars.

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