138 Following

Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Darker Plot Twists Bring Teen Protagonist Dangerously Close to Too Stupid To Live Territory

Safe House - Meg Cabot

Okay, can I just say the the name of this series, 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU, is really bugging me? It's too many letters! Why not call it 1-800-WHERE-R-U? I know that's totally petty and not relevant to the quality of the series, but it's the sort of easily-fixed imperfection that just sets my OCD into overdrive.


Other than that, I'm still whipping through these books and (mostly) enjoying them, though they're a bit dated. (Note to authors: if you're going to use slangy dialogue and pop culture references, be prepared to be out-of-date within a decade of publication.) However, I didn't like Safe House as well as the first two books of the series (When Lightning Strikes and Code Name Cassandra).


Safe House is darker than the preceding books. Sixteen-year-old band geek protagonist Jess still has an anger management problem, and she still has the psychic ability to find missing people -- but in this book, she's no longer finding kidnapped kids on the backs of milk cartons. Instead, girls from Jess's own high school have started to go missing. One of them has even died, and pretty soon, Jess is receiving threats that she might be next.


Many readers will probably enjoy these heightened stakes. I found Jess's casual narrative style and superficial adolescent concerns about boys and clothes, while fitting in the breezier earlier books, to be kind of jarring here, where one of her classmates has been brutally murdered and Jess's own life may be at stake. Also, Jess is a relatively intelligent and very likeable protagonist, so I was disappointed when this book saw her wading into Too Stupid To Live territory. She's been headstrong and impulsive before, but never clueless until now. I'm on to the next book--hopefully, things will get better!