Two Latina cousins are trapped in a web of violence that exposes hard truths about their family.
Genesis is beautiful and rich—the center of every crowd, thanks to her assertive personality. Her cousin Maddie isn’t like that, and she hates how she lets herself get swept up by Genesis. Instead of going to the Bahamas for spring break, Genesis takes Maddie and Maddie’s brother, Ryan, along with several other friends, including white boyfriend Holden, to the cousins’ fathers’ native Colombia, searching for authenticity, away from tourists. They find it on a hike into a national park when the group is taken hostage. Amid her romantic drama, Genesis searches for the reason why the mustache-twirling kidnappers want to use Genesis and her cousins as leverage with Genesis’ wealthy father, compelling him to help their cause. When Genesis and Maddie discover they’re not kidnappers but terrorists, they want to stop them—but how can two teenage girls stop terrorists? This first novel in a planned trilogy arbitrarily covers the titular 100 hours, but it spends far too much time establishing the characters before they are kidnapped. Although she mentions the real terrorist group FARC in passing, Vincent’s terrorists aren’t identified as belonging to a particular group; their anti-American plot effectively and unfortunately obscures Colombia’s actual experiences with violence. While there is plenty of action, switching between Genesis and Maddie undercuts the tension—yet somehow doesn’t really create much feeling in readers for either character.
A paint-by-numbers thriller and superfluous romantic complications create high stakes without any real emotional engagement. (Thriller. 14-18)