Title: Safe House (1-800-Where-R-U #3) by Meg Cabot writing as Jenny Carroll
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Mystery, Contemporary
Published by: Simon Pulse (March 1, 2002)
Ever since Jess was struck by lightning, she’s had the power to find missing people. And everyone wants a piece of her powers….
In Safe House, Jess and her psychic abilities are being blamed for the murder of Amber, a beloved cheerleader. But when more cheerleaders start disappearing, Jess may be able to save her reputation by finding the murderer—before it’s too late.
What I Thought
As many of you probably know, I love Meg Cabot. I’m terrible at picking favorites, but I’ve never hesitated to say that Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors. She just has a way with writing such sassy and relatable characters, as well as books with incredible, fast-paced plots. Safe House is no different!
This is the 3rd book in the 1-800-Where-R-U series, and it did not disappoint! These books definitely need to be read in order, but each book in the series also has its own separate story and mystery. I found this book’s mystery to be particularly gripping. There were so many plot twists that I totally didn’t expect, and I simply could not put this book down!
Another thing I loved about Safe House, alongside all the other books in this series, is the characters. Jess, especially, is such a great main character. She’s independent and can stand up for herself and yet she’s also such a fun and sassy teenager. She’s so realistic, and I really liked that.
Also, this series also touches on mental illness. Jess’s brother, Douglas, has schizophrenia. I feel like this is especially notable because this book was originally written in 2002 before diversity in YA and the normalization of mental illnesses really took off. That being said, my only disappointment in the book was the inclusion of the r-word. However, I only remember it being used by the “mean girls,” and, like I said, this book was written in 2002, and that derogatory word was around a lot more, and many people did not think of it as negatively as they do now.
Something else I really appreciated about this book, and the entire series, is that while the premise of the mysteries are such serious topics (kidnappings, murders, etc.), these books never become too much. While there are some definite tense moments, there’s plenty of funny moments to counteract that, which allows this series to have that Meg Cabot charm. The humor and the mystery are so perfectly balanced out.
Overall, I really loved this book! It was a great addition to an already great series. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun and intense mystery, who appreciates sassy characters and tons of wit.
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