Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator by Jen Klein

This cover is so much better than the one I have.

Jillian Cade’s mother has died and her father has abandoned her in search of another one of his paranormal adventures. She is left alone to keep his paranormal business going and try and make enough money to keep the power on in their house. Although Jillian doesn’t believe in the paranormal and the occult, the only way she knows how to make money is to take cases from people who do. She enlists the help of her cousin, Norbert, and together they “solve” cases of the supernatural. Jillian’s system seems to be working well until one day when she gets an email to investigate a missing person at the same time that the mysterious (and handsome) Sky Ramsey enters her life. As Jillian gets more wrapped up in the investigation of missing Todd Harmon and cannot shake Sky from helping with the investigation and attempting to protect her, Jillian enters into a world of the paranormal where not everything around her she is able to disprove. 

I was torn with this novel. I liked the character of Jillian. She was smart and sassy and she seemed to have it together. She was trying to hold it together after her mother’s death and her father’s abandonment. Her attempt to keep others at arm’s length and her mistrust of everyone around her made her a believable character. Yet, her relationship with Sky Ramsey was problematic for me. I struggled with a strong, female teen who gave into a boy she had just met because he was cute and persistent. Her personality did not seem to fit with being boy-crazy and allowing a young man to continue to pester and harass her as she continues to let him hang around. I just couldn’t buy it.

This is the cover I have. It really drives me nuts.

The story itself fell flat. What I wanted to see happen did not and instead moved to a very implausible, though somewhat expected, ending. The mystery was solved, but it set up readers for another book in the series. Although teens who like paranormal and the occult might enjoy this book, as a mystery I wanted a bit more for the audience. It felt as though it didn’t expect enough from its readers. 



Note: This review was first published in PCA/ACA Mystery & Detective Reading List (Winter 2017)


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