Book review ~ We were Kings, Court Stevens

We were Kings
Author : Court Stevens
Genre : YA mystery
Pages : 400
Publisher : Thomas Nelson
Release date : 1st February 2022

Twenty years ago, eighteen-year-old Francis Quick was convicted of murdering her best friend Cora King and sentenced to death. Now the highly debated Accelerated Death Penalty Act passes and gives Frankie thirty final days to live. From the Kings’ own family rises up the one who will challenge the woefully inadequate evidence and potential innocence of Francis Quick.

The at-first reluctant and soon-fiery Nyla and her sidekick (and handsome country island boy), Sam Stack, bring Frankie’s case to the international stage through her YouTube channel Death Daze. They step into fame and a hometown battle that someone’s still willing to kill over. The senator? The philanthropist? The pawn shop owner? Nyla’s own mother?

I got really surprised by We Were Kings, as it completely caught me off guard. I requested it on Netgalley based off the Death Daze concept, and although the Internet investigation aspect wasn’t all that I expected, I got completely pulled in the plot.

So, we have a woman, Frankie, in jail for murdering one of her friends, 20 years ago. But now, her sentence is being accelerated, and she is set to die in a month. Beth, Nyla’s mom is Frankie’s best friend, and the victim’s sister. So when Nyla’s interest in the case leads her to conclude that maybe Frankie isn’t guilty, she sets on an investigation to solve this 20 year old murder, and dives in her influent family’s history.

I wasn’t sure I would enjoy a murder mystery, but I completely did! The writing style did a lot for me. It’s not too adult and complicated, neither too teeny and cliché. The tension builds throughout the pages, and even if I don’t like to, I couldn’t help but try to figure out who was guilty. The tension really got me, which had me reading the book in less than 6 hours! This is FAST.

Nyla was also a great main character, and I thought everyone around her flowed beautifully. Sam, her official sidekick on the investigation, but also Nyla’s mom, and the rest of the King family. It was like a soap opera meets Youtube. There’s so much family history to uncover, and so many secrets to dig out on the Kings, I couldn’t believe it. This is also why I loved the book. The Kings and the islanders are all so intricately linked through various bonds! It was absolutely delicious to discover how this and that person was related to another, and seeing the lies that survived 20 years come to light.

I mean, seriously, the action is everywhere, and so are the plot twists. There are two major plot twists, and even though I saw one coming, the other was a real surprise. The author never lets us breathe, without overdoing it, which was so nice! We Were Kings was a great surprise, and I can recommend it to YA mystery fans with my eyes closed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

That’s it for today! Thanks for reading me,
See you soon,
Jade ❤

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