A gripping and atmospheric contemporary thriller that excels in portraying the complex intensity of its characters.

SEE ALL THE STARS

Relationship extremes take center stage in this debut about a teen navigating her new reality as an outcast following a life-changing event.

As Ellory grimly approaches her senior year, readers only know that she’s returning to her high school, seeking solitude after being suspended and spending the summer away at an art camp. Chapters flashing back to the previous year alternate with the present, slowly revealing the details of a tightknit but often jealous friendship among Ellory, Jenni, Bex, and their leader, Ret, as well as Ellory’s experience with a first love that was also rife with its own problems. Evocative phrasing steeped in the novel’s richly melancholy tone vaunts this story above simple melodrama. Tightly controlled pacing allows time for the audience to come to really care about Ellory even as they cringe at some of her more painfully desperate moments with her boyfriend, Matthias. The reveal of what happened junior year is horrifying though replete with a common-to-thrillers twist that careful readers will see coming. However, the conclusion is still satisfying. Ellory, Ret, Jenni, and Matthias seem to be white, Bex is Moroccan and French-Canadian, and there are ethnically diverse background characters.

A gripping and atmospheric contemporary thriller that excels in portraying the complex intensity of its characters. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0437-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

An atmospheric page-turner about loving scary movies, longing to belong, and uncovering the many masks people wear.

THE MARY SHELLEY CLUB

Rachel, a 16-year-old trauma survivor, is initiated into her private school’s secret society for horror fans.

A year after surviving a violent attack, high school junior Rachel Chavez becomes the new girl at Manchester Prep on Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side. The middle-class daughter of a faculty member, Rachel feels invisible except for her one new friend, harmless school gossip Saundra Clairmont. After a school party ends in a ghost story, a séance, and screaming, Rachel—who immersed herself in horror movies as a coping device—notices a prankster amid the chaos. Soon, she is initiated into the Mary Shelley Club, a tightknit group that requires secrecy and rule-following from its members. She joins Freddie Martinez, a film geek on scholarship; hot-tempered, Stephen King–adoring Felicity Chu; charming Thayer Turner, whose political family is compared to the Obamas; and brooding golden boy Bram Wilding. Mostly the teens just watch all sorts of horror films—classics, slasher, zombie, psychological—but membership also involves more sinister activities. Moldavsky’s tightly plotted tale weaves in dark humor, an impressive amount of horror trivia, and insightful references to Frankenstein. Readers will quickly become invested in Rachel’s story even when she’s making difficult-to-witness mistakes. The characters are notably diverse; issues of ethnicity and social class are naturally woven into the story.

An atmospheric page-turner about loving scary movies, longing to belong, and uncovering the many masks people wear. (Horror. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23010-2

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more