Finley and Betty have always been best friends. They were best friends through Finley’s parents divorce and Finley moving out of state, they were best friends through Betty’s, once known as Elizabeth, reinvention, and they were best through Betty’s romance trouble. Then one day Finley get the call that changes her life. The phone call where she is told that Betty was missing and most likely murdered. Finley is left reeling and becomes even more distraught when Betty’s ex-boyfriend, Calder, confesses to murdering Betty. But nothing will ever be the same for Finley after Calder’s confession is declared inadmissible and he is set free. Finley knows she has to prove Calder murder Betty to get justice for her best friend and peace for herself.
First, a warning. There are going to be spoilers….many spoilers. I can’t address my issues with this book without actually giving away plot points. This book hit on many of my current reading pet peeves. The story takes place in the late 90s and I have to ask “Why?”. In no way does this help build the narrative other then to deny the characters cell phones and GPS. Finley begins a relationship with Serena a girl from her hometown who turns out to be using Finley for her own agenda. This played out like a manipulative lesbian luring a heterosexual girl into a relationship for nefarious reasons. All of this plays into the fact that this does not feel like a teen book. “A Good Idea” is a new adult mystery being disguised as a teen book for marketing purposes. The characters are all college bound, the language, drug use, and sexual content add up to be a little too intense for the average teen readers, and the time period makes it unrelatable to a teen reader. But the most disappointing aspect of “A Good Idea” is that there is so much lost potential. (WARNING…HERE IS THE BIGGEST SPOILER). Betty asked Calder to kill her because she wanted to die and Calder killed Betty because he wanted to know what it was like to kill someone. The motivation behind the murder is a much more interesting idea than the novel we actually received. A complicated look at wanting to die and wanting to try your hand at murder is the kind of story that would have made “A Good Idea” a must read and that would be a story I would recommend.
Final Rating: 2 out of 5