What would YOU do? (YA murder mystery question)



Hey AWers!

So, I've been working on this novel for quite some time now, and I'm having some trouble with the MC (Leah) and how she would react to the situation. I don't want her to come across as TSTL, but at the same time, she's 17/18. Her long-term boyfriend of one year is suspected of murdering their mutual friend, a girl named Betsy. The boyfriend, Nathaniel, has had trouble with alcohol due to social anxiety from being bullied as a kid for being mixed race in a mostly white community, and he's done well recently with sobriety until he throws a graduation party. An old girlfriend convinces him to "have a little fun" and drink, and he falls off the wagon. Betsy, after having a few too many herself, confronts him and admits feelings for him. He's seen arguing with her about it and chasing after her. Next thing anyone knows, Betsy's dead, Nathaniel's passed out next to her, and all he can remember is calling 911 and supposedly fighting off people attacking her. Leah, sick of his problems with alcohol and scared that maybe he did kill their friend (and Betsy has been Nathaniel's best friend since childhood), breaks up with him. However, her feelings for him remain, and his for her. She remains conflicted throughout the novel about his guilt or innocence, which is the driving force of the novel. My problem is that I don't want it to be obnoxious. I don't want Leah's waffling about "did he, didn't he" to drive the reader insane (which, so far in beta, it has). I want it to drive the reader to turn the page, not throw the book at the wall. What would YOU do if you were 17/18, and this happened to you? You're in love, you're a smart girl, and you've known this boy for years. He's not a troublemaker, he's valedictorian, and his only demons are from people being jerks to him out of their own ignorance. Help!

I apologize if this isn't making much sense. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to a 7-month-old, and he has a cold and I didn't get much sleep last night :p.

Thank you!!