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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Crush is a psychological thriller written by Niki Keith. Phoebe Hall is having many problems coming to terms with her father's death. Her school problems are just as problematic, with Laura Preston welcoming her as the newest member of the volleyball team and newest Pink Lady, much to the chagrin of the student crushing on her, Mimi Sanchez. When death threats start filling her phone, Phoebe wonders who is suddenly stalking her but quickly solves that mystery when her tires are slashed. Laura's ex-boyfriend, Zander, seems obsessed with Phoebe and fantasizes about many sick things, including murder. A new teacher, Liam, befriends Phoebe after almost running her over at school, and his nephew, Ethan, develops a crush on Phoebe, presenting problems. News of Phoebe's favorite teacher's murder turns the school's rumor mill on its head. Murders surround Phoebe at every turn, leaving her questioning her sanity while pointing fingers at anyone who appears suspicious. When the killer is finally caught red-handed, all hell breaks loose.
Well... I haven't cried that hard in a while from reading any book. Niki Keith presented an incredible (yet terrifying) tale of a murderous psychopath with one hell of an agenda. The friendships between the students and teachers at the school are bizarre and quite complicated. It took the entire duration of the book for me to learn the killer's identity, their reasons, and their back story, which finally put the missing pieces into place. So many criminal elements are mentioned in the book, from rapes and murder to neglectful parenting and convicted felons who are innocent of the crimes that led to their imprisonment, all of which had me on the edge of my seat. I find myself going to bed tonight mourning for a book character who I feel deserves a funeral. I recommend Crush to all fans of the teenage murder mystery genre and feel this book should be stocked in all good town libraries and bookstores. I hope to read more from Niki Keith in the future.