Title: Kate Unmasked (Code of Silence #1)
Author: Cindy M. Hogan
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Synopsis: The mysteries of her past consume her.
Seventeen-year-old Kate has never stopped searching for the secrets of her past - the secrets that began with her missing birth parents. After years of every lead drying up and every hope turning false, Kate finally lucks onto a promising lead.
Determined to find the truth once and for all, Kate travels to the gritty New Jersey shore. But what she finds is worse than she ever could have imagined. She can't hide from who she is, and now she must face the awful consequences of finding the very people she should have been hiding from.
Some secrets should stay dead and buried.
Review: This story has a really interesting premise. An adopted girl is looking for her parents, and finds out more than she could ever have expected. Throw in some adventure, a little romance, a little danger, and I'm hooked!
I have mixed feelings about Kate. I can't pretend to understand what she's going through with not knowing where she came from, but I feel like she goes about things all wrong. She's hiding her boyfriend from her parents, she's hiding her search for her birth parents from her boyfriend because he'll tell her parents, and her parents have secrets that they're hiding from her (although I'm pretty sure her parents are justified in their decisions). Kate lies to basically everyone in her life and gets herself into trouble and then gets angry when they find out and reprimand her. She's very frustrating.
Also, for someone who has only ever had one (secret) boyfriend and isn't interested in putting herself out there, she ends up with a lot of romantic interests. And she's kind of a jerk to all of them. The romances were all sweet while they lasted, but I'm not sure what's going to happen next with any of them. Especially after that ending. And one of them was kind of just written off, so I'm curious as to if something else will come of that.
The plot did have me hooked though, and things move pretty quickly once Kate gets to New Jersey. And then things take an unexpected turn that I definitely did not see coming, so I'll definitely be looking for the next installment! A lot of questions are answered and even more pop up, so I definitely need to know what happens next and more about what has happened in the past!
Overall, I really did enjoy this story. Kate annoyed me, but I guess if your past is as sketchy as she finds out hers is, at least she's a little justified. She is reckless, and I hope she's learned her lesson, but I don't think the story would have been as exciting if Kate wasn't running into things head first. I'd recommend this story if you like contemporary thrillers, and would give it a 3/5!