Book Review:  Daughter, by Kate McLaughlin

Image belongs to St. Martin’s Press.

Title:   Daughter
Author:   Kate McLaughlin
Genre:   YA
Rating:  4 out of 5

Scarlet’s life is pretty average. Overly protective mom. Great friends. Cute boy she’s interested in. And a father she’s never known – until she does.

 When the FBI show up at Scarlet’s door, she is shocked to learn her father is infamous serial killer Jeffrey Robert Lake. And now, he’s dying and will only give the names and locations of his remaining victims to the one person, the daughter he hasn’t seen since she was a baby.

 Scarlet’s mother has tried to protect her from Lake’s horrifying legacy, but there’s no way they can escape the media firestorm that erupts when they come out of hiding. Or the people who blame Scarlet for her father’s choices. When trying to do the right thing puts her life in danger, Scarlet is faced with a choice – go back into hiding or make the world see her as more than a monster’s daughter.

I can’t imagine living your whole life not knowing who your father is, and suddenly finding out he’s an infamous serial killer, and your whole life is kind of a lie. Scarlet had moments of extreme selfishness and childish behavior, but for the most part, she was doing her best to be a good person. The way Lake tried to manipulate her and everyone else was creepy in the extreme, but she was smart enough to realize she was being manipulated.

It seems like every teenager in this book—so, most of the characters—drank, did drugs, and had sex indiscriminately. While I’m sure that’s true for some teenagers, it’s not for every teenager, so the generalization bothered me. And…the way people treated Scarlet and her mother was horrific. This story may be fiction, but that sort of behavior isn’t, and that just bothers me in general. All in all, I enjoyed this read.

Kate McLaughlin lives in Connecticut. Daughter is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)

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