Review: The Row by J. R. Johansson

The Row by J R JohanssonThe Row
J. R. Johansson
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Available October 11, 2016

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About The Row

A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.

Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.

Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.

find-amazonMy Review

This was one of those books where every time I thought I knew what was going on, there was some new layer that turned everything upside down. I love books like that, so I definitely enjoyed that element. I loved Riley right from the beginning and especially liked Jordan and his cute little brother Matthew, too. I thought the connection between them definitely added a lot of tension. I liked that Riley made her own search for truth.

The only thing that bothered me about the story was Riley’s voice. I kept forgetting that she was supposed to be seventeen and hearing her as much younger, like fourteen or fifteen. On the whole that didn’t disrupt my ability to get caught up in the story. I liked the characters enough to overlook it.

The Row is a great book for suspense or mystery readers. It definitely had some unexpected surprises for me. If you like Jennifer Lynn Barnes series The Naturals, you definitely want to read this one.

add-goodreadsRecommended Ages: 14 up

Cultural Elements
Riley and her parents are white. Jordan and his family are Hispanic.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
A few brief kisses. Some vague discussion about a man who had an affair.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Some brief descriptions of injuries to murder victims. A man attacks a woman and a boy. He breaks bones and stabs the woman in the stomach. He makes it clear that he intends to kill them both. Two men are shot.

Drug Content
Riley learns disturbing news and gets drunk. Later her mother does the same thing.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

One Response to Review: The Row by J. R. Johansson

  1. Colleen says:

    Wow. That is an amazing story line. Makes me want to read it….