Jennifer Ruff
World Castle Publishing, LLC (2014)
ISBN 9781629891422
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (03/15)

“Everett” by Jennifer Ruff is a college suspense type of story that takes place at Everett College in New Hampshire and begins with Brooke, an accomplished student and work out enthusiast, running beyond campus boundaries through the snow covered landscape, even though she shouldn’t have been roaming by herself, especially at sunset. The buddy system had been activated since the disappearance of a female student a few months before, but Brooke did not follow the security guidelines; she went all the way to the bridge and stopped to stretch out. She looked down towards the creek and for a moment though she saw something fuchsia right at the edge of the frozen creek. She looked again but this time she only saw snow. Brooke finally resumed her run, this time heading back to campus; she would have return to the creek when the snow melted. Maybe then she would be able to see what she knew was under the bridge. Then in the first chapter, the reader is taken back in time, eight months earlier when Brooke arrived at Everett College at the beginning of the term as a full scholarship recipient student.  As the story continues, readers will meet other students like Jessica, Brooke’s opposite, Ethan, and Robert, as well as some professors. Brooke settles into life on campus as a co-ed, and exercise class teacher, but no one knows what’s behind the bright beautiful student front that everyone sees.

I really liked the plot and the pace of the book. Ruff also does a great job developing characters and dialogues, although sometimes they felt a little cliché to me. The problem I had with Ruff’s writing style is the amount of telling. I wished she used the dialogue and narrative description to show me the mood of the character, or the character’s intentions. I also wished there was more sensory information to show me how the characters felt while facing certain situations instead of telling me what they felt.  I don’t know if this was the author’s first book but that is how I perceived it. I am positive though that with more publications the specific flaws of this one will disappear as she hones her craft.

Overall, I found “Everett” by Jennifer Ruff to be a good read for teens and young adults who enjoy dark suspense. Definitely creepy and dark, it gave me goose bumps a couple of times! A four star young adult dark novel that will make many college students weary of their classmates!

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