Author: Jennifer Latham
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Hardcover, 320 pages
Publication: May 19, 2015 by Little Brown BFYR
Source: Won through the NOVL newsletter giveaway.
Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic fifteen-year-old, ready to take on crime in her hometown. When Scarlett agrees to investigate a local boy's suicide, she figures she's in for an easy case and a quick buck. But it doesn't take long for suicide to start looking a lot like murder.
As Scarlett finds herself deep in a world of cults, curses, and the seemingly supernatural, she discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks...and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father's murder.
Scarlett is a hard as nail sixteen-year-old. I admired her headstrongness and commitment to her cases but she found herself in so many dangerous situations that I can’t imagine a regular 16-year-old being caught in the middle of. The author did a good explaining how Scarlett is able to defend herself against say a grown man and why she found herself in those sticky situations but it wasn't believable. I thought Scarlet’s character overall was okay, I didn't love her or hate her. I had a problem connecting with her because there wasn't anything relatable. As for the other characters, I didn't think they were fully developed. Even the best friend/love interest fell flat for me. In my opinion the author focused mainly on the plot and not enough time on the characters that it suffered. Because the plot was great, it was everything else that wasn't up to par.
Despite the weak character developments, I still thought Scarlett Undercover was a fun and quick read. Latham debut has a lot of promise, and if there’s more books in the series…I think she can only get better from here on out. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely.