No Saints in Kansas
A gripping reimagining of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and the brutal murders that inspired itNovember is usually quiet in Holcomb, Kansas, but in 1959, the town is shattered by the quadruple murder of the Clutter family. Suspicion falls on Nancy Clutter’s boyfriend, Bobby Rupp, the last one to see them alive.New Yorker Carly Fleming, new to the small Midwestern town, is an outsider. She tutored Nancy, and (in private, at least) they were close. Carly and Bobby were the only ones who saw that Nancy was always performing, and that she was cracking under the pressure of being Holcomb’s golden girl. The secret connected Carly and Bobby. Now that Bobby is an outsider, too, they’re bound closer than ever.Determined to clear Bobby’s name, Carly dives into the murder investigation and ends up in trouble with the local authorities. But that’s nothing compared to the wrath she faces from Holcomb once the real perpetrators are caught. When her father is appointed to defend the killers of the Clutter family, the entire town labels the Flemings as traitors. Now Carly must fight for what she knows is right.

No Saints in Kansas Details

TitleNo Saints in Kansas
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 14th, 2017
PublisherSoho Teen
ISBN-139781616956837
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction

No Saints in Kansas Review

  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    It's all but impossible not to refer back to Capote's beautiful classic prose and storytelling (fact telling) in "In Cold Blood" and in fact brashear includes many clever references back to Capote's work but that isn't her focus. Her focus is to retell the story through a fellow teenager's eyes for a teenage audience. Carly Fleming, her younger jock brother Asher and their defense lawyer father and '50's housewife mother move from Manhattan, the one in New York not Manhattan, Kansas and the fami It's all but impossible not to refer back to Capote's beautiful classic prose and storytelling (fact telling) in "In Cold Blood" and in fact brashear includes many clever references back to Capote's work but that isn't her focus. Her focus is to retell the story through a fellow teenager's eyes for a teenage audience. Carly Fleming, her younger jock brother Asher and their defense lawyer father and '50's housewife mother move from Manhattan, the one in New York not Manhattan, Kansas and the family gets busy trying to assimilate to the mainly farming community. It's difficult. Like most teenagers Carly longed to fit in and have friends. She considers it her first big break when her math teacher talks her into being math tutor to the popular Nancy Clutter. Then the murders happen anc Carly's on shaky ground again. She's determined to play Nancy Drew and find out who killed her friend and her family."No Saints in Kansas" is a gritty book that will appeal to more mature teens who can handle such a dark theme. I know kids are used to reading apocalyptic tales but this one feels personal because of the more finely honed psychology Brashear incorporates. As an adult I also enjoyed the book though I couldn't help pulling Capote's book off my shelves and delving in from time to time.Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance reader's copy.
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    Rating and review to come. I am still trying to wrap my head around this one.
  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    “People always think highly of the dead when they’re dead. It’s definitely not how they thought of them when they were alive.”No Saints in Kansas is a reimagining of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. We follow Carly Flemming as she and the town come to grips with the grisly murders of the Clutter family and trying to find out what happened and why. Things I Liked :This book had really short chapters, which I always love. They let me really get into the story quickly and fly through it. I like that “People always think highly of the dead when they’re dead. It’s definitely not how they thought of them when they were alive.”No Saints in Kansas is a reimagining of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. We follow Carly Flemming as she and the town come to grips with the grisly murders of the Clutter family and trying to find out what happened and why. Things I Liked :This book had really short chapters, which I always love. They let me really get into the story quickly and fly through it. I like that when we started off the murders have already occurred. This helps us get right into the action and hook us in the beginning. I thought the beginning of the story was strong.The writing feels emotional and reactionary to events happening. It’s easy to connect with and it draws you in! Things I Didn’t Like :The characters are introduced with little backstory and discussed like we already know them. We get some info on them but I always felt a little lost when we met a new character. And the information we get is from tangent backstories, like their first meeting or something else that is trivial. Carly wasn’t the smartest when looking into the murders. She constantly made bad decision after bad decision. She was often assisted by Mary Claire and Landry and then abandoned by them. It became a repetitive cycle of doing something stupid then being ignored, making up, and repeat.Along with bad decisions, Carly was pretty unlikeable to me. She constantly make the murders about herself and her relationship to Nancy. She was upset that everyone else was talking to Truman Capote and she hadn’t got to tell her story. When she does meet with him, she’s upset he doesn’t really care about her. I felt like the ending was unsatisfying. Everything came together quickly and neatly. There wasn’t much tension, besides the petty high school drama, even though Carly and her family was ostracized by the town and physically and verbally threatened. This book was ok, but largely forgettable. I liked where the story started and the intrigue of the murders in the quiet, unassuming town, but I wanted more character development, more tension, more sleuthing. This book had a lot of potential and is a really quick read, but it’s not really one that will stay with you.I received a copy of the book from the Soho Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Fremom3
    January 1, 1970
    My (former?) friend and fellow librarian handed me this ARC, because she knows I am a fan of IN COLD BLOOD, and because she can’t read them all. I will NOT be recommending this book for purchase in our library.I question the amount of interest that the average teen will have in a nearly 60 year old murder case, but I guess you never know. This book felt, from the start, like a BAD idea. Most people realize that Truman Capote took liberties (to put it mildly) with the facts in his book detailing My (former?) friend and fellow librarian handed me this ARC, because she knows I am a fan of IN COLD BLOOD, and because she can’t read them all. I will NOT be recommending this book for purchase in our library.I question the amount of interest that the average teen will have in a nearly 60 year old murder case, but I guess you never know. This book felt, from the start, like a BAD idea. Most people realize that Truman Capote took liberties (to put it mildly) with the facts in his book detailing the Clutter family murders, so if that was the author’s sole source of information, she might have done a bit more research. I am certainly willing to suspend my disbelief, but the author of this book stretched my disbelief to the breaking point. This work features obscure references that few, if any, teens will get (eg. the main character’s father being involved in the execution of two spies in ‘53), a main character who reads like a combination of Nancy Drew on steroids and Forrest Gump without the charm, and improbable language. To cite a few grievances, Carly Fleming, our daring heroine, breaks into the crime scene, the court house, Truman Capote’s hotel room (dressed as a maid, no less...I love Lucy, too, but give me a break!), and the jail where Perry Smith is being held. There are others, but I’m just going to sit here and shake my head, rather than list them.I bitched about this book so much that my book group actually asked me to stop reading it. I also took the liberty (I can take them, as well!) of asking a few people I know who were ACTUAL teenagers in 1959, if the language and behavior of this character was accurate. Despite Carly Fleming’s being a sassy New Yorker, the resounding answer was NO! The language is too modern, the character is too bold/fearless/stupid, and the situations she puts/finds herself in are completely unrealistic. The best word I can use to describe this book is ridiculous. It pains me to lambaste a book. I realize that authors put their hearts and souls into their work. I have just called your baby ugly, Amy Brashear, and I am sorry to have to do it...but this is one ugly baby! Go back to the drawing board. Better yet, don’t quit your day job. I’m sorry, truly...but no. Just...no.The real question now is this: Do I forgive my friendly YA librarian or make her read this book for herself as punishment?***Okay.... I have had some time to get the bad taste out of my mouth, and I would like to edit this review, slightly. DON’T stop writing, Amy Brashear. I apologize for calling your baby ugly. Just try reading an Ally Carter or two...and then MAKE STUFF UP! Your main character would have been okay, had you not tried to insert her into an actual event. If you want a sassy, daring heroine, send her to spy school or something a bit fantastic. Steer clear of historical fiction. Your character did not fit the time and place that you dropped her into...and it’s wrong to try to force her into the lives of people who actually lived and brutally died.***
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  • Laura Henderson
    January 1, 1970
    This is a marvelous book! As soon as I saw the synopsis for this book I had to get my hands on it! I am an avid fan of Truman Capote and love thriller type books. This book had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I had already known before I read this book who had murdered the Clutter family due to me reading Capote’s book and researching the actual murders themselves, but this didn’t stop me from needing to keep reading on and turning the pages as fast as possible to see what would happen This is a marvelous book! As soon as I saw the synopsis for this book I had to get my hands on it! I am an avid fan of Truman Capote and love thriller type books. This book had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I had already known before I read this book who had murdered the Clutter family due to me reading Capote’s book and researching the actual murders themselves, but this didn’t stop me from needing to keep reading on and turning the pages as fast as possible to see what would happen next! Amy definitely did her research as she stayed with as many true facts as possible including who was Nancy’s boyfriend at the time of the murders. This book was fascinating and great as a young adult read. Amy does a wonderful job at handling the murder scenes without being over the top or adding in too many details to where it would cross any lines of respect due in part to the actual family. I also loved all the extra tidbits to that time period that were slipped in. Such as: JFK running for president, Truman Capote and how he actually was as a person, the strain for that period between the social classes, and the way the town was as a whole. I found the writing wonderful and well done. While this is my first book by this author it wont be the last. I also thoroughly enjoyed the cover to this book. This is a high recommendation and 5 stars from me.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately, this reads like a first draft, with poor pacing, poor plotting, and no character development or emotional arc at all. Readers who don't know IN COLD BLOOD will be bored to tears, and the historical accuracy, particularly when it comes to teens and how they interact and speak with one another, is questionable at best. There were so many places of potential and it fell apart through poor craft and weak writing. The turn in the story happens in the last 1/6 or so of the book and it p Unfortunately, this reads like a first draft, with poor pacing, poor plotting, and no character development or emotional arc at all. Readers who don't know IN COLD BLOOD will be bored to tears, and the historical accuracy, particularly when it comes to teens and how they interact and speak with one another, is questionable at best. There were so many places of potential and it fell apart through poor craft and weak writing. The turn in the story happens in the last 1/6 or so of the book and it pushes so fast that we never actually see things happen; it's all telling and no showing and for a book written in first person present about a murder that is lush with details and opportunity, this is such a let down. Fortunately, because I love IN COLD BLOOD, I enjoyed the reading experience. But I wouldn't recommend this nor encourage fans to rush out and experience something new and fresh. It's mostly forgettable. Maybe it's because when I was disappointed with everything I put on my editor brain, but I saw where the potential was and so wished someone could have done stronger work with the writer to make this so much more than what it is. Don't go in expecting a mystery nor much emotional connection and for readers without a sense of the original story, don't bother. Read Capote's book and then maybe find some good forums and conspiracy theory discussions.
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  • Linda Williams Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    Sounds like a book my daughter will want to read. :)
  • Jacquelyn Pace
    January 1, 1970
    I love anything true crime related: documentaries, books, podcasts, you name it. Which was why I was particularly excited to hear that this novel was a take on In Cold Blood, one of the most infamous true crime books of all time. However, No Saints in Kansas isn't just a take on In Cold Blood, it's actually set right in the midst of the murders themselves, creating an interesting blend of fiction and fact. It's that blend of real people and events with fictional ones that is the most interesting I love anything true crime related: documentaries, books, podcasts, you name it. Which was why I was particularly excited to hear that this novel was a take on In Cold Blood, one of the most infamous true crime books of all time. However, No Saints in Kansas isn't just a take on In Cold Blood, it's actually set right in the midst of the murders themselves, creating an interesting blend of fiction and fact. It's that blend of real people and events with fictional ones that is the most interesting part of this novel. I wanted to like it; I tried really hard to like it. But it was a difficult read to get through because it was choppy and disjointed and hard to follow in some parts. The main character and narrator, 15-year-old Carly Fleming, was completely unlikable to me. Honestly, I didn't like any of the characters. Every single character in the novel was petty, childish and mean, usually for no reason at all. There was never an explanation given for why Carly's entire family was always nasty toward each other or at each other's throats. There was no reason for why Carly was the target of stereotypical mean girl bullies aside from the fact that they were just...mean. They were mean girls. I know the book is set in 1959 but I'm reading it in 2017...aren't we past the point of girls who hate other girls just because they feel like they're supposed to? The characters and their motives were flat and one-dimensional. I never felt like I had a grasp on why anyone did the things they did. Especially Carly, who narrates the story; I never felt like I understood her or her motives. She was deeply effected by the murders but admits about a million times over that she wasn't even really friends with Nancy Clutter. She spent the first 70% of the book trying desperately to prove that Bobby, Nancy's boyfriend, was innocent but I still honestly don't know why. There was never any background given to their relationship, never any real motive for Carly doing what she did, except maybe that she didn't have anything else to do there in Kansas? I felt like the author kept introducing all these points and actions but never explained why they happened or what was driving the characters. I always felt like I was missing something, almost to the point where I kept going back to make sure I hadn't missed an entire scene or an important line. The novel felt like a patchwork of scenes without any real thread, connection or continuity. That's my biggest complaint with the novel: it didn't make sense and I just didn't care. I didn't really care about the way the people in the town treated Carly or Bobby or whether people were happy or upset that the Clutters were killed or whatever crisis Carly was having at that particular moment that disappeared completely two pages later. I know that Carly was only supposed to be 15 but she felt every bit that age (which maybe was the intention that I completely missed) and it made her completely unlikable for me. My favorite part about No Saints in Kansas was the blending for historical events and figures. John F. Kennedy makes a brief appearance, which was intriguing, as do the In Cold Blood killers themselves. My personal favorite part was the moment Truman Capote and Harper Lee show up. I wasn't expecting that and it was a pleasant surprise! I thought they might only appear briefly, a subtle nod to what was going on at the time but the pair feature heavily throughout the novel, appearing several times. It was interesting to see this sort of "behind the scenes" look at the writing of In Cold Blood. I feel like the author was maybe trying to do too much here and wasn't entirely sure what direction she was taking her story in. It was a hodgepodge of true crime, high school drama, coming of age, family drama and historical fact rolled into one but without any focus on any certain aspect. The characters felt flat and not fleshed out. Even knowing that the crime was real and the Clutters were real people who were murdered really didn't make me care about them or feel sorry for what took place (in the context of this story). I would have loved to hear more about the author's process in researching the novel but my ARC didn't come with an afterword or author's note (if there was one). Wanting to like the book didn't help me actually like it, unfortunately. As a teacher, I can't think of a group of students I would recommend it to. Maybe a true crime buff who is still too young for actual true crime novels and needs a "light" crime read? It wouldn't even be good for reluctant readers because even though it is a quick read, it is difficult to follow in places and even I lost track sometimes.
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  • Tiger Oma
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of No Saints in Kansas from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I have to say, as soon as I read the description of this book on NetGalley, I knew I had to read this book. When I started the book, I wasn’t sure if Amy Brashear was a genius or a fool. I mean, attempting to go beyond Capote in telling the Clutter’s story seemed wrong. The story starts with the murders, but after that, it goes off in a different direction. A new character, Carly, is in I received a copy of No Saints in Kansas from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I have to say, as soon as I read the description of this book on NetGalley, I knew I had to read this book. When I started the book, I wasn’t sure if Amy Brashear was a genius or a fool. I mean, attempting to go beyond Capote in telling the Clutter’s story seemed wrong. The story starts with the murders, but after that, it goes off in a different direction. A new character, Carly, is introduced into the story we all know so well. Carley, a “friend” of Nancy’s that becomes obsessed with the murders and finding the killers. She knows Bobby is innocent and sets out to prove it. The book reads like a Nancy Drew version of the murder investigation. Carley is Nancy Drew. She goes places most girls of that time would never dream of going. She questions the investigators, KBI detectives, and anyone else that will talk about the terrible events of November 15, 1959.Brashear stays true to several of the real people involved in the story. Truman Capote and Harper Lee are exactly how sources from the time described their attitudes, actions, and how the town’s people reacted to their presence. There are no changes in the murders, Dick, Perry or the outcome of the story. The book is true to those facts. These aspects of the book were well researched. I think the accuracy in these facts gives the fiction parts of the story a foundation and makes it more believable. I like the way the descriptions of the murders were handled. There were no long, gory, descriptions of the murder scene and the Clutters bodies. Everything was handled with respect and not glorified. I hold Brashers in high esteem for not taking liberties with these details to make the book more exciting. The only down side I have with this book is sometimes Carly found the answers too easily: reports left desks, loud conversations with office doors open, free speaking KBI men, detectives, and law enforcement. No Saints in Kansas is definitely a book that I will recommend to anyone that wants a good historical fiction read. This book will appeal to older readers as well as young adult readers. The Older generation of readers will compare it to In Cold Blood and enjoy the new perspective. The younger generation of readers will want to read In Cold Blood after finishing this book.Now to answer the question I posed at the beginning of this review. I think Amy Brashear was a brave genius to tackle this story. I love the new spin she puts to these events. No Saints in Kansas is her debut novel. I can’t wait for her next work, The Incredible True Story Of The Making Of Eve Of Destruction, coming Fall 2018.
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  • Brandi
    January 1, 1970
    I finished In Cold Blood shortly before reading this novel and perhaps Capote's masterful depiction of the Clutter murders made this one pale in comparison. However, it seems more than that to me. The author made the strange decision to portray Nancy Clutter as something of a "mean girl," a character trait that was absent from Capote's account. Turning an actual beloved victim of a brutal murder into a vain, snooty schoolgirl seems inappropriate to me. While sticking mostly to the facts, the aut I finished In Cold Blood shortly before reading this novel and perhaps Capote's masterful depiction of the Clutter murders made this one pale in comparison. However, it seems more than that to me. The author made the strange decision to portray Nancy Clutter as something of a "mean girl," a character trait that was absent from Capote's account. Turning an actual beloved victim of a brutal murder into a vain, snooty schoolgirl seems inappropriate to me. While sticking mostly to the facts, the author inserted Carly and her friends into the narrative, but didn't manage to add anything new to the story. Choosing to make Carly's mother a close friend of "Jack," otherwise known as the future President Kennedy, seemed a superfluous addition to Carly's tale. Additionally, Carly's descriptions of her life and the vernacular used by her and her friends didn't seem entirely period accurate to me. Carly herself was a dreadful character. She makes the murder of Nancy and her family all about how she feels (now she will never get the chance to be Nancy's friend, or even worse perhaps she can now be Sue's best friend?). She continually makes horrible decisions and can't seem to make up her mind whether she is grounded or not (granted I read an advanced galley and this may be corrected by the final draft). On the whole, readers would be better served by sticking with Capote's original narrative.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    1.5I never read In Cold Blood, and maybe that was my problem, but I just could not get into No Saints in Kansas no matter how hard I tried. Ugh.The main character, Carly, was really annoying and did not make good decisions. However, it wasn't the kind of bad decisions where you can see where she was coming from or at least see her reasoning behind it, rather, they were the kind of bad decisions that made me sit there and just think "why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why 1.5I never read In Cold Blood, and maybe that was my problem, but I just could not get into No Saints in Kansas no matter how hard I tried. Ugh.The main character, Carly, was really annoying and did not make good decisions. However, it wasn't the kind of bad decisions where you can see where she was coming from or at least see her reasoning behind it, rather, they were the kind of bad decisions that made me sit there and just think "why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why."I didn't like the romance. It was forced and predictable, and I kept reading Landry's name as Laundry.I got about halfway through before I sat back and realized that I was indifferent towards literally everything in this novel. It wasn't exciting. I was just feeling apathy and was also vaguely annoyed.The only thing that was compelling in this novel is the fact that the murder in this book actually happened, but in the end I just put down the book and read the In Cold Blood wikipedia page instead.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I received this copy as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.I am a big fan of true crime, and I really enjoyed In Cold Blood. When I heard that this book was being published, I jumped at the chance to try and get a review copy and I am so glad that I did. No Saints In Kansas appealed to the slightly dark part of me that loves mysteries, Dateline, and watching a lot of ID's re-cre shows (I'm looking at you Joe Kenda). Told from the perspective of outsider Carly Fleming (the girl Nancy was sup I received this copy as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.I am a big fan of true crime, and I really enjoyed In Cold Blood. When I heard that this book was being published, I jumped at the chance to try and get a review copy and I am so glad that I did. No Saints In Kansas appealed to the slightly dark part of me that loves mysteries, Dateline, and watching a lot of ID's re-cre shows (I'm looking at you Joe Kenda). Told from the perspective of outsider Carly Fleming (the girl Nancy was supposed to loan a dress to for the dance), this story brings an interesting (fictional) perspective to the true life story of the Clutter family slayings. This book had me turning page after page to see what would happen to Carly and Bobby (Nancy's boyfriend and prime suspect) even though I've read the source material and done my own research into the crime. It was an enjoyable read and one that I would recommend adding to your shelves.
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  • Rachitha
    January 1, 1970
    A re-imagining of In Cold Blood? Yes please! I can't believe this hasn't been done before. I ad such high hopes for this one, and while I did enjoy a lot about this book, unfortunately, some things just didn't work out for me.I really liked the main character, Carly Fleming. I thought she would annoy me to no end, but I actually appreciate how stubborn and string-willed she is.If not for her, the story would have gone nowhere. Also, the fact that Truman Capote is an actual character in this nove A re-imagining of In Cold Blood? Yes please! I can't believe this hasn't been done before. I ad such high hopes for this one, and while I did enjoy a lot about this book, unfortunately, some things just didn't work out for me.I really liked the main character, Carly Fleming. I thought she would annoy me to no end, but I actually appreciate how stubborn and string-willed she is.If not for her, the story would have gone nowhere. Also, the fact that Truman Capote is an actual character in this novel is such a genius move on the author's part. But other than those two characters, everyone else was super bland. The "budding romance" between Carly and another character was so unnecessary and came out of nowhere.Overall I thought the writing was really dry as well and the pacing of the story was really off. The first 200 pages dragged a lot, and the last 100 pages were so rushed. I wish the ideas were better executed in this novel because the concept is really cool.
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    Carly Fleming has been recently transplanted from NYC to Holcomb, KS and is trying to fit in with the kids at her new high school. In the midst of her struggle, the Clutter family is massacred by unknown assailants and Carly is determined to find out what happened to Nancy, the Clutter daughter she had been trying to befriend. There are references to Carly being like Nancy Drew, but she came off as annoying rather than resourceful, rebellious rather than motivated. Carly's family is drifting apa Carly Fleming has been recently transplanted from NYC to Holcomb, KS and is trying to fit in with the kids at her new high school. In the midst of her struggle, the Clutter family is massacred by unknown assailants and Carly is determined to find out what happened to Nancy, the Clutter daughter she had been trying to befriend. There are references to Carly being like Nancy Drew, but she came off as annoying rather than resourceful, rebellious rather than motivated. Carly's family is drifting apart and having her father represent one of the alleged murderers does not help. I must say that the addition of Aunt Trudy to the plot was an innovative way to keep the NYC connection open and added an extra layer to the Truman Capote presence. The visit of a well-known presidential candidate was perhaps my favorite part of the book.
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  • Carli
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Soho Teen and Edelweiss for the advance copy of this ebook. All opinions are my own.•⭐⭐⭐/5 for this fictionalized account of a real murder from Kansas in 1959 (the very murder that Truman Capote featured in In Cold Blood). Even though Carly just tutored Nancy Clutter in math, she thought they were good friends. When the Clutter family is found murdered in their home, Carly goes to extremes to try and figure out who could have murdered them.•Carly is an interesting character. As an o Thank you to Soho Teen and Edelweiss for the advance copy of this ebook. All opinions are my own.•⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this fictionalized account of a real murder from Kansas in 1959 (the very murder that Truman Capote featured in In Cold Blood). Even though Carly just tutored Nancy Clutter in math, she thought they were good friends. When the Clutter family is found murdered in their home, Carly goes to extremes to try and figure out who could have murdered them.•Carly is an interesting character. As an outsider in a small Kansas town, having moved from New York City, her status as an outsider can definitely be felt in the story. Development of secondary characters would have led to a more engaging read though. Overall, this would be a good choice for high school mystery fans.
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  • viktoria
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 26%: Include me in the chorus of "It's really weird how Carly keeps haranguing about how she and Nancy would've been Real, True, Public Popular Friends if only Nancy hadn't been inconveniently murdered along with her whole family (including Carly's younger brother's bff) and what a bummer it is for Carly and Carly alone, because she knew Nancy so well." I really loved the concept of it, but between the weird narrative voice and the pacing, I counted myself out at the quarter mark; it might DNF @ 26%: Include me in the chorus of "It's really weird how Carly keeps haranguing about how she and Nancy would've been Real, True, Public Popular Friends if only Nancy hadn't been inconveniently murdered along with her whole family (including Carly's younger brother's bff) and what a bummer it is for Carly and Carly alone, because she knew Nancy so well." I really loved the concept of it, but between the weird narrative voice and the pacing, I counted myself out at the quarter mark; it might improve, but I don't have the patience right now to see if it does.
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  • Patricia Baker
    January 1, 1970
    received advance uncorrected edition to read and reviewthis is a retelling of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" as told by a reported best friend of the slain teenage girl in Kansas. story very readable from a YA reading level. the story moves along slow enough for details to be slowly revealed. for those not familiar with the story, this is a softer version of Capote's book. do like the details of Mr Capote and his lifestyle.
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  • Carrie O'Maley Voliva
    January 1, 1970
    I sometimes wanted to shake Carly Fleming, the main character, as she just kept digging and getting herself into more and more trouble. I had to keep reminding myself that it was a very different time and sneaking into courthouses would be easier than it is now. It's an interesting concept and kept me interested, despite it being based on true events and therefore taking the mystery out of the murder.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't a big fan of the character - she irritated me, although I think a lot of teens can connect to her - but I kept reading because I had hope for the plot but it never had that big moment I was waiting for. It all just felt like it could've been so much more than it was; there was so much left unexplored and so much that just relied on stereotypes. Definitely a disappointment.
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  • Ms. Nguyen
    January 1, 1970
    I was able to read this ebook through Net Galley!I couldn't get through this book. If you're going to touch something as iconic as In Cold Blood, it needs to at least be readable. The pacing was strange, the characters were flat, the writing was just bad.
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  • Jessie Wagoner
    January 1, 1970
    what a fascinating read. It was interesting to read about the Clutter murders from another point of view. Well done!
  • Cherise
    January 1, 1970
    DNF
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    Did not work for me.
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars"People always think highly of the dead when they're dead. It's definitely not how they thought of them when they were alive." No Saints in Kansas starts off the morning the bodies of the Clutter family are discovered and we get to see memories that Carly has of the family slowly throughout the book.Carly from the wrong Manhatten Fleming is still 'new' in town when Nancy and her family are brutally murdered. While Carly and Nancy weren't really close, she was starting to get to know her 3.5 stars"People always think highly of the dead when they're dead. It's definitely not how they thought of them when they were alive." No Saints in Kansas starts off the morning the bodies of the Clutter family are discovered and we get to see memories that Carly has of the family slowly throughout the book.Carly from the wrong Manhatten Fleming is still 'new' in town when Nancy and her family are brutally murdered. While Carly and Nancy weren't really close, she was starting to get to know her and is deeply upset by these murders. The one person who was really connected to the Clutter family is Asher, Carly's young brother who was friends with Kenyon. While Carly is upset by the murders, Asher is devasted and it affects everything in his life."The funny thing is, I agree with her. I don't understand why Dorothy was so keen on getting back to Kansas. Dorothy might think there's no place like home, but to me, Kanas is lies, all lies."The whole town becomes obsessed with it, and with the sudden media attention, Truman Capote coming to town and the KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) being involved everyone has an opinion on what happened and who did it.But no one becomes as obsessed with it as Carly and she ends up involving her friends Mary and Seth in order to help solve the murders and clear an innocent young man that everyone thinks did it. "It turns out my brother was one of the last in town to talk to him. Not that I'm surprised. He was one of the first to talk to the police for the same reason: he always wants to do what's right, and talking to Mr. Capote didn't fit the bill. But in the end, I think he felt pressured to, mainly by himself."Overall I did enjoy this book, it was a fast read and made me laugh several times. But I also found myself getting annoyed with Carly a lot especially when she goes on and on with how she and Nancy could have been such good friends.No Saints In Kansas does have some funny moments with Carly adjusting to small town life after the big city. Which also means Carly is constantly getting into trouble and being told she shouldn't be somewhere that has to do with the investigation of the murders. I think this does show small town life fairly well and how people treat outsiders.Personally, I would have found this story more enjoyable if more had been focused on the preparing of the trial and the actual trial part, and not so much about how Carly was obsessed with the murders and constantly getting into trouble.The things I didn't like:I did find it hard to believe that Truman Capote would be able to get so much information from the KBI as he wasn't too highly thought of for the most part in small towns. I also found it hard to believe certain things would be left unattended so much in such a high profile case at this one was.Another thing why was it needed to add in the Kennedy storyline? It literally had nothing to do with Carly or the Clutter case.Thank you to Soho Teen for sending me a Physical ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.Blog Twitter Instagram Facebook
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