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“She wouldn't have died if I hadn't taught her how to fall.” —Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek
Jess Tennant Mysteries #3
by Jane Casey
Unapologetically curious—that’s Jess Tennant. So when her classmate, Gilly Poynter disappears, Jess decides she must investigate. With only Gilly’s diary as a clue, Jess finds out that Gilly’s home life wasn’t happy, and her social life was a mess. As Jess tries to find out what happened to Gilly, she discovers that the police and her boyfriend want her to keep clear of the case. But Jess is convinced that she can help find Gilly and unlock the secrets that want to remain hidden.
Although most of Hide and Seek revolves around the mystery of Gilly’s disappearance, it also delves into the complicated relationships between people. Jess’s boyfriend is back in town for Christmas break, but instead of spending time together, they are arguing. To add conflict to the story, Jess’s dad is in town trying to win over his ex-wife, which Jess is hoping doesn’t happen.
Jess Tennant is a charismatic character who has the reader running with her from the start. Hide and Seek contains mystery, suspense, and complicated relationships that keep the reader guessing. The characters in the book are complicated and real.
For teens who like mysteries, Hide and Seek tells a good story without adding graphic images of sex and violence. Instead, the author creates interesting characters that drive the action and keep the reader interesting.
- One of the characters is seen kissing his girlfriend. “She grabbed hold of him and kissed him back, pressing her body into his. One of his hands slid down her back, his fingers spreading, digging into her flesh.”
- Jess’s boyfriend’s father lectures her on, “taking the appropriate precautions.” Jess is upset by the talk because, “it wasn’t even relevant, currently. We hadn’t. We hadn’t even talked about it.”
- Jess kisses her boyfriend several times throughout the book. In one scene, “his mouth tasted of cinnamon and his hand was warm on my neck. His thumb stroked the skin just under my ear and I shut my eyes, lost in him.” Another time, Jess “found myself pinned against the wall. He kissed me, hard, and my heart took off, fluttering in my chest like a hummingbird.”
- In her diary, Gilly described having sex with someone in the disabled toilet near the staff room. “We ended up on the floor . . . And it felt amazing. . . But the main thing is that it felt RIGHT.” Later it is revealed that the person Gilly had sex with was her history teacher.
- When Jess was trying to figure out who Gill had sex with, another character goes through a list of possible people. Jess “thought of quite a large group she’d left out. The girls.”
- Nessa talks about how her parents think she is a lesbian, but she hasn’t made up her mind yet. Later someone defends Nessa asking, “Why do you care if Nessa likes girls anyway? Why does it threaten you?”
- The teacher kisses Gilly twice. He “turned his head and kissed her, his tongue probing her mouth.”
- At a party, a group of girls confronts Gilly. One girl grabbed onto Gilly’s wrist. Then Gilly grips her glass so hard that it breaks. “Liquid started to seep between her fingers—wine mixed with oozing red blood that trickled down the backs of her hands and slid along her forearm, branching out as if her veins were suddenly, shockingly, on the outside of her body.”
- Jess sees blood in Gilly’s trash can and assumes it was cutting. “I knew plenty of girls who did it, slashing their skin to ribbons in neat lines down arms or thighs, because physical pain was better than the emotional kind.”
- A girl attacks another character. “Nessa grabbed him by the throat . . . Max was choking, his face red, and Nessa let go . . . I couldn’t tell if it was planned or not, but her knee collided with his nose. He jerked his head back, and a spray of blood splattered the fake snow . . .”
- Two of the boys fight and the description lasts for several pages. “It wasn’t a pretty fight. It was punching and shoving and gouging eyes. It was a kick to the thigh that wrung a string of curses from Will.” Will’s father shows up and breaks up the fight.
- Gilly and the teacher tie Jess to a latter and then lock her in a house that is about to be crushed by incoming waves.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Jess goes to a party where alcohol is served.
- Jess goes to talk to Gilly’s mother who was acting strange. “I didn’t know if she’d been drinking or if she’d taken something, but there was no way she was sober.” Later Jess discovers that Gilly’s mother had been drugged.
- Jess used to live in North London, “where you could buy pretty much any drug you wanted just outside the train station.”
- One of the character’s wife is ill. He tells Jess that she, “just stays in her room, popping pills and waiting for the end.”
- Gilly wrote in her diary that she wished she were like everyone else, “getting drunk, having fun.”
- Hell is used several times. For example, when Jess thinks someone is spying on her, she asks, “What the hell are you doing?”
- When Will’s father breaks up a fight, he asks, “Do you want to tell me why you and this idiot are hitting seven kinds of crap out of each other?”
- When Jess is asking too many questions, she is told to “piss off.”
- One of the characters calls someone a “twisted little dyke” and later someone refers to another character as a “dick.”
- In her diary, Gilly uses, “Oh my God, OMFG, and F*****G.”