The Window is a pretty good debut about a girl whose sister dies climbing out her window and the quest to find the truth of what happened. Anna apparently had secrets she was keeping, and her sister Jess sets out to find out what they were. She's the more introverted of the two, likes to keep to herself, but she finds that secrets abound in the little Montana town where they live. Anna was living a life that her sister was unaware of, and over the course of the book Jess will learn a lot about her dead sister as well as herself. I liked this debut, thought it was well done, and would look forward to more of this author in the future.
Jess discovers some disquieting things about her sister as she refuses to accept that Anna just fell. There has to be more, she thinks, and sure enough there is more. Anna had a friend named Lily who was a bit of a wild child, and together they were going out and getting drunk, and apparently hanging out with guys too. All unbeknownst to not only their parents, but Jess as well- and Jess thought she and Anna were close. How could she have missed the warning signs?
Jess grows a lot through the course of the book, and starts to give people a chance that she might not have otherwise. Her interactions with Sarah are fun, I love some of the dialogue- snarky without being too much- and there are a few red herrings and misdirections going on as well. It's mostly realistic, although there is one thing that Jess does that I had a little trouble believing- not that she did it but that she didn't get caught. But by and large I liked this and it kept me turning pages.
It's interesting too that this is sort of a psychological thriller for the YA set- I haven't read a lot of those. A lot of the thrillers I read are geared towards adults or have adult characters. So this was nice to see a foray into YA territory. Anna's parents are of course devastated by the accident, and I liked seeing how they handled their grief along with their handling of Jess' feelings. They don't really know how to help her, but they try, and while I didn't think they were super effective, they clearly cared.
It was nice too to see a little different take on high school cliques. As in there weren't a lot, I enjoyed the interactions Jess had not only with Sarah but also with Mona, a former cheerleader who may know something about Anna. The chapters are short and punchy, and quite a few of them are led off by commentary from Anna, which provide insights into what was happening in her life.