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This is Our Story
     

This is Our Story

4.6 5
by Ashley Elston
 

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No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won't say who fired the shot that killed their friend, Grant; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino's senior year internship at the District Attorney's Office isn't exactly glamorous-more like an excuse to leave school early that

Overview

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won't say who fired the shot that killed their friend, Grant; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino's senior year internship at the District Attorney's Office isn't exactly glamorous-more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys' case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won't let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has personal reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she investigates with Stone-the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot-she realizes that nothing about the case-or the boys-is what it seems. Grant wasn't who she thought he was, and neither is Stone's prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all-and if Kate doesn't uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line including her own.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/03/2016
Grant Perkins is killed while on a hunting trip with his four best friends, who concoct a tale to keep themselves out of jail. As part of her internship with the district attorney’s office, senior Kate Marino is assigned to help unravel the boys’ lies, despite their connections to their Louisiana town’s most powerful citizens. However, Kate’s boss doesn’t know that she is harboring secrets that link her to the River Point Boys, and everyone—including Grant—has something to hide. Elston’s (The Rules for Disappearing) exploration of privilege, justice, and digital media unfolds through a combination of Kate’s Nancy Drew–like investigation, the anonymous shooter’s thoughts, and the mounting evidence; the narrative feels ripped from the headlines, a contemporary cautionary tale with enough wrinkles to make all four boys seem like likely suspects. A subplot involving a photo of three passed-out girls adds another layer of sordid small-town intrigue, and Kate’s efforts to solve the case highlights the duality of the human soul, the ways technology can twist the truth, and the difficulty of knowing who to trust. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Absorbing, haunting, and memorable... a slow-burning mystery/love story that ratchets up the tension with each chapter. By the time you reach the end you will be breathless!"—Colleen Houck, New York Times best-selling author of the Tiger's Curse series

"The narrative feels ripped from the headlines, a contemporary cautionary tale with enough wrinkles to make all four boys seem like likely suspects... Kate's efforts to solve the case highlight the duality of the human soul, the ways technology can twist the truth, and the difficulty of knowing who to trust."—Publishers Weekly

"Elston spins out a solid mystery... She sustains a high level of tension. For teens who enjoy watching the heedless-but-good girl take on a crew of privileged bad boys to exonerate her guy, this is their story."—BCCB

"Intrigue and suspense, drugs and partying, social media, budding romance, mounting clues, and characters who embody good and bad—some evil—make this incredibly crafted novel impossible to set aside. It is a stellar summer reading or book discussion group choice... This novel will circulate among all readers."—VOYA

"The characters are believable and well developed in this stimulating and intriguing plot. This mesmerizing romantic mystery is bursting with plot twists and turns that will leave the reader highly satisfied and wishing they had not yet finished the book."—School Library Council, starred review

"The plot build cleverly, interspersed with text messages, mistaken identities, whiffs of political corruption, and mysterious narrations from someone who knows what happened... impossible to put down."—Booklist

"Chilling and suspenseful, with just the right number of twists."—Kirkus

PRAISE FOR RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, THE

"[H]ard to put down."—The New York Journal of Books

PRAISE FOR RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, THE

"The realistic setting, believable romance and spunky protagonist will make this one worth the trip for mystery and romance fans."—Kirkus

VOYA, December 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 5) - Cynthia Winfield
This riveting legal thriller immediately engages readers with this opening line, “[A] ten-point buck and a dead body make the same sound when they hit the forest floor” from one of the River Point Boys. They are a group of five wealthy, privileged, white seniors from St. Bartholomew’s, an elite private school in Belle Terre, Louisiana. The incriminating circumstances surrounding the death of Grant, one of the five, could translate into charges of negligent homicide for each of the remaining boys. Kate, future photojournalist and public school senior, and her friend Reagan each have work placements with the local district attorney’s office, making them “the envy of the teenage workforce.” Kate narrates most of the story, but her chapters are interspersed with short, texted conversations between herself and Grant—she was falling for him before the incident. There are also observations by an unidentified reporter and transcripts of police interviews with those involved (“with body language commentary by Kate” because the assistant D.A. who lands the case, for whom Kate works, has severely deteriorating vision). Kate’s cynicism about the workings of today’s legal system becomes justified as wealth and power join forces to corrupt the outcome of the case. Intrigue and suspense, drugs and partying, social media, budding romance, mounting clues, and characters who embody good and bad—some evil—make this incredibly crafted novel impossible to set aside. It is a stellar summer reading or book discussion group choice. Librarians should shelve multiple copies, as this novel will circulate among all readers. Reviewer: Cynthia Winfield; Ages 12 to Adult.
School Library Journal
11/01/2016
Gr 8 Up—Kate Marino is shocked to learn that Grant Perkins is dead. She and Grant had been texting for months, and Kate had revealed things about herself that she hadn't told anyone, ever. So when her mother's boss gets assigned to the murder investigation, Kate uses her after-school job at the district attorney's office to look into the case. The worst part? One of Grant's best friends is his killer, but none of their other friends are talking. As Kate begins to uncover the schism driving the boys apart, she learns a distressing truth from Grant's best friend, Shep, that completely unravels everything she thought she knew, and the more her investigation deepens, the more dangerous it becomes. Will she be able to learn the truth in time? With this gripping novel, Elston has created an accessible legal thriller for a teenage audience. Kate is a very appealing and recognizable character: smart, funny, and strong. Refusing to be paralyzed by her emotions, she feels compelled to do something about injustice and tries to turn her grief into positive momentum. Readers will most likely be shocked and surprised right along with Kate as they, too, follow the many twists and turns of Grant's murder case. VERDICT Highly recommended for young adult collections in public and school libraries.—Ryan P. Donovan, Southborough Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
2016-08-17
If your friend’s dead body falls in the woods and nobody is around to see which of you pulled the trigger, what will your story be?In an after-party haze of booze and drugs, five white, wealthy best friends go hunting in the River Point woods—only four return. With one of the boys, Grant, shot dead in an apparent accident and no one willing to admit responsibility, Logan, Henry, John Michael, and Shep vow to keep silent in order to protect their remaining group and the killer among them. But secrets have a way of burrowing through bonds, and the tightknit foursome, dubbed the River Point Boys, has already started to unravel. Meanwhile, budding photojournalist and white senior Kate Marino is interning at the district attorney’s office, where her boss is assigned the River Point case. The DA wants the case to disappear quietly, but Kate is determined see justice done. As she assists with examining the boys’ behavior during interrogations and in person, she discovers that nothing about the case, the suspects, or even her own connection to the boys is what it seems. The narration alternates between Kate’s fervent suspicions and a River Point Boy’s cold manipulation, leaving readers to wade through the many vengeful motives that spill from a wellspring of affluence, privilege, and corruption. Chilling and suspenseful, with just the right number of twists. (Mystery. 13-17)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781484730898
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
11/15/2016
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
20,735
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Ashley Elston is the daughter of an attorney and grew up surrounded by talk of court cases, crazy clients, and the law in general all of which triggered the ideas in her legal thrillers. Ashley is also the author of The Rules for Disappearing, a 2014 finalist for the International Thriller Writers: Best Young Adult Novel, and its sequel, The Rules for Breaking. She has a liberal arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, with her husband and three sons. For more information about Ashley and her books, please visit www.ashleyelston.com.

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This is Our Story 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
One of the best books I have ever read!
Sandy5 7 months ago
I have heard a lot of hype about this novel and it seemed like a story that I would really enjoy so I snagged it while I was browsing the shelves at the library. I liked how the author jumped right in and got the story rolling from the first couple pages. The story itself then worked itself backwards and the characters retold their story as I tried to figure out just who the guilty party was. The five boys, preppy boys, from an elite school went hunting one day and only four came out of the woods alive. They were the best of the friends, these River Point Boys and had been for years and now, as they emerged, their story of what transpired in the woods sounds like a record on repeat. Illegal activities had transpired that day and perhaps that affected what happened but no one will know because what they say now, is vague and they are united, no one wants to cast blame. There has to be something to crack this case and that’s where the attorneys come into the play. This case is handed down to a lawyer with instructions on how to handle it and I smiled as I read his reactions to their remarks. Kate, an intern in his office goes to school with the River Point Boys and she’s told to keep her distance from them, he doesn’t want anything to destroy his case. Kate decides to turn PI and she begins her own investigation work. She really got under my skin a few times with her actions and a few times I thought, who the hell was she? She was not the attorney, nor was she was supposed to impair his case yet there were times what she was doing was pushing the limit. There were a few instances in the novel where things got slow for me but there were some sudden surprises that I hadn’t expected also. In novels like these, I go in trusting no one, anyone that says they didn’t do it, yeah they probably did it and they are on my check list of possible suspects and in this novel, the River Point Boys were my list of suspects. I enjoyed the story, the author dragged me along till the bitter end and then I realized that the one River Point Boy that I thought had pulled the trigger, he was innocent.
Myndia 8 months ago
The River Point Boys are a tight knit group for whom friendship and loyalty is everything, so when one of them gets shot on a camping trip, they band together to protect each other, hoping no one will be able to determine who killed their friend. However, secrets have a way of tearing people apart, and the River Point Boys are not immune. As things begin to unfold, it becomes obvious that they have more secrets than any of them realized, secrets that one of them was desperate to hide. Maybe desperate enough to kill for. This Is Our Story is a perfect example of the right book at the right time. Either it brought me out of this exhausting and lengthy reading slump or it was the exact right book to pick up at the natural end of it. Either way, I’m grateful. I was in need of a story that was intriguing and hard to put down, that I could emotionally connect to without being wrung out, that was smart enough to make me think but leave me unsure. This Is Our Story was all that and more. One of the things I loved most about this book is that it was all pretty believable. So often in YA, the circumstances are so unlikely that even if the story is enjoyable, the lack of believability leaves you wanting. Not so here. There wasn’t anything that seemed far-fetched and that helped a great deal with suspension of disbelief. Also important, the characters, seniors in high school, are written as the burgeoning adults they are. They are smart and independent, with developed relationships and interests, capable of critical thinking and a wide range of emotions, while still relying on the support of the parents they are starting to grow away from. They also have secrets and struggle to make the right decisions, wanting to do the right thing while protecting their own interests. Complex and human. I very much appreciated this aspect of the book. Definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone who loves a good mystery, particularly those who love YA. Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
book_junkee 9 months ago
I've loved Ashley's words since I read her first book and she's quickly become a favorite. So obviously I was beyond excited to get my greedy hands on a copy of this one. I loved Kate right from the beginning. She smart and has such a strive to uncover the truth, no matter what she finds out. I loved being in her head in this book. There were some other great characters {Kate's BFF Reagan is awesome} and some swoony boys. I won't mention who because I don't want to spoil anything. We do get another anonymous POV from one of the boys and I love love loved those short chapters. It was deliciously creepy. The plot is twisty and it kept me guessing. Every time I thought I had it figured out, something else was revealed. I can't wait to read it again to see if I pick up on the hints, now that I know who it was. Overall, I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and captivated by first page. I will definitely be shoving this book into everyone's hands. **Huge thanks to Ashley for sending me an arc free of charge**
Cupcakegirly 9 months ago
Disclaimer: I don't recommend picking this one up unless you have a couple of hours to devote to reading or can stay up all night to finish it, because once you start, you won't be able to put it down, nor will you want to. I loved the writing, the way the story unfolded using various methods: texts, videos, legal reports, unreliable narrator, the plot twists and turns (one I did NOT see coming), and the romance. I'm usually pretty good at "calling" things whether it's T.V., movies or books, but this one managed to catch me off-guard in a good way. It also had a "ripped from the headlines" feel to it which always makes for an entertaining read. It's hard to go into specifics without spoiling anything, so I'll just say, this was an unputdownable page-turner. Read it!