This is a one-shot from the person who wrote Anne Freaks and one of the limited titles in ADV’s catalog. I’ll go for creepy one-shots any day.
This one was actually a really strong title. There’s a limited number of characters (two, actually), and one mystery to solve with lots of action. The buildup is believable, and the sequence of events is believable. I also liked both the characters a lot. The main character acts like kind of an airhead at school and falls in with a shallow popular crowd, but she only acts like an airhead to make everyone laugh. The secondary character you never find out a lot about, but she is constantly watching the main character initially. You think that this is because she disapproves of her, but later we find out that there might be an attraction, but this aspect is not explored as much as I like… though the open-endedness of it is also nice.
The best part is actually the story. It’s actually quite believable that the girl doesn’t know what’s going on with the cellphone and doesn’t believe that the suicides are happening or that she should do anything to stop them. Gradually it bothers her that people would want to end their lives like this, and she runs around trying to stop them. The balance between people she saves and doesn’t save is good, as are the consequences of her actions. It’s a bit heavy-handed when it comes to the main character’s reflections on reasons to live, but I can’t complain about that too much.
The work had a good beginning, middle, and end, plus it had just the right of character development and extra stuff packed in to be great. Rarely are one-shots as polished as this one, and I’m glad it isn’t another that relies too heavily on character development that isn’t there.