Neutral Mask by Barry Lyga

Welcome to Saturday Shorts where we feature short stories and novellas.  Today we’re catching back up with the Jasper Dent read-along held late last year.

Neutral MaskTitle:  Neutral Mask
Author:  Barry Lyga
SeriesJasper Dent Book 0.6
Publish Date:  July 28, 2014
Genre:  YA Thriller
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Connie is the new girl in town, but she already has friends…and maybe even a boyfriend. Her father isn’t happy that Connie is dating a white boy like Jasper Dent, and things get even worse when she realizes that Jasper is the son of Billy Dent, one of the world’s most notorious serial killers! This is the story of how Connie and Jazz overcame their early troubles and fell in love.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

This another short prequel of Lyga’s that introduces us more to Connie and Jazz’s relationship. Connie discovers Jazz is the son of a notorious serial-killer for the first time and even though Jazz assumes she’s going to break up with him, she stays regardless. Ginny Davis is also introduced when Connie convinces Jazz to participate in drama club. She performs a “neutral mask” routine and Jazz has to come up with one before next week. Connie is wowed when he performs, like the rest of the class, and it’s eventful and heart-wrenching for most of the audience.

The only reason I gave this a four was because the story didn’t flow well for me. It started out being about their relationship and that theme was consistent throughout as Connie discovered his connection to Billy Dent and still wanted to be with him. But I thought it was going in a different direction than it did from the beginning; the summary itself explains that it’s all about how Connie’s father feels about the situation and although there was a scene with him in it, his approval still clear on the white boy standing, that’s pretty much all that happens. I expected a scene later where Connie revealed to him the name of who she was dating but there was no such thing, so I was left kinda disappointed…as if I didn’t get any questions answered again.

Sure, if you read the main novels, you know that her father is worried because he’s Billy Dent’s son. But I was just hoping for the first initial reaction.

badge4v4And not that the rest of it wasn’t good! I still rated it a four. I thought the neutral mask thing was cool and that Jazz’s performance was spot on. This has good emotion and a great setup for the following novels.

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

… you might like How to Lead A Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller, The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, or Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon.


About Kat Mandu

I'm an urban fantasy and young-adult paranormal writer. I love to cook, rock out to music, and read as much as I can get my hands on. Always believe in your dreams and pursue them no matter what the cost. If you believe in it, it's worth every chance you take.

Posted on January 9, 2016, in Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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