Trigger Warning : Sexual assault
I binged the first season of Freeform’s Cruel Summer because of its nostalgia, fast-pace, and intense storytelling that moves back and forth through time. Girl On Trial has a lot of the same elements. In the late 2010s, teenaged Emily is accused of causing the death of a young family. The story flashes between the trial and events from earlier that Fall when Emily befriends Hannah, a troubled girl with a wild streak.
Emily lives in a small Maryland town where everyone is trying their best to get by. The events that unfold involve class, peer pressure and the need to belong. Some painful truths are revealed towards the end that are shocking and hard to read about. It sort of caught me off guard. Overall, I thought it was a solid blend of contemporary YA and crime fiction.
This book was published by the small press CamCat Books. I’m curious to read more of their work.