When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected–and that she knows what happened to her.
Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?
I Killed Zoe Spanos has everything I’m always looking for in a YA mystery book. I read this book in two different formats (I do that sometimes and I have no idea why). I listened to half of this book via audiobook and the other half I read via a physical copy of the book. both versions are incredible for a number of reasons.
The narration throughout this book is excellent. I always love a story that is told from two POVs and I Killed Zoe Spanos had that. We have the POV of Anna, the 16-year-old who has confessed to murdering Zoe Spanos who has been missing for 8 months. Then, we have the POV of Martina, also 16-years-old who is the host of the Missing Zoe podcast. Martina believes Anna’s confession doesn’t quite add up. The POVs alternate and the chapters flip between past and present. The two POVs and the different time frames read excellently and are narrated amazingly in the audiobook. Also, the audiobook makes the Missing Zoe podcast seem incredibly real and as though you are actually listening to a podcast.
On tope of that I really liked the characters in this book. All the characters are well-rounded and thought out. It made it easy to connect with them all. The actions of each of the characters are justifiable which is something I always look out for when reading YA mysteries. Sometimes authors make the characters do stupid things to move the plot along and I find that unbelievable and it takes me out of the story. None of this happens in I Killed Zoe Spanos.
Anna is such an unreliable narrator and it made the story even more intriguing for me. Martina and her investigations is something I would have loved to do as a teen. She runs her own podcast, investigations and interviews and I would have loved to do that. All the secondary characters are fleshed-out and brought their own things to the story for me.
I Killed Zoe Spanos is such an absorbing and atmospheric YA mystery. I love small town mysteries that capture a community and this is just that. It is packed full of plot twists, so don’t always believe your thoughts whilst reading this book. Also, it is more than just a YA mystery. It has layers of stress on teen ambition, empowerment and drama but none of these things are cliche or childish. The characters are simply just ambitious for their futures.
Overall, I would highly recommend I Killed Zoe Spanos as it will keep you on your toes and gripped right from the start. It is perfect of fans of podcasts, dual POVs and small town mysteries. I cannot recommend this one enough!