An account of the aftermath of a student’s abduction.

When 16-year-old Chinese Australian Yin Mitchell is abducted, the news is devastating, especially for her fellow classmates at Balmoral Ladies College in the Melbourne area. From Chloe, a biracial (Chinese Singaporean and White Australian) scholarship student who knew Yin from fleeting encounters, to Natalia, a White girl who is a force within the high school hierarchy and Yin’s estranged childhood best friend, the abduction reverberates across the community. Each day that passes only spurs more fear and edginess. In alternating chapters switching between Chloe’s and Natalia’s perspectives, the narrative charts the 79 days of limbo that follow. Hall teases and unravels information deftly and balances the narrative tension with thought-provoking rumination. While the mystery of Yin’s disappearance is a powerful undercurrent, at the center of the novel lies a nuanced exploration of grief, guilt, violence, and resilience. Readers discover who Yin and her classmates are beneath surface appearances and consider the impact of the threat of male violence on the world these young women live in. How do gender, race, and social class affect public interest and outcry—and the girls’ everyday realities? Questions of sensationalism, art, and censorship also arise. Characters are fully drawn and realized, and the destabilizing atmosphere of speculation and uncertainty is well developed.

Hauntingly riveting. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-92233-048-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Text

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.


The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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

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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

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