Teens hoping for an Ellen Hopkins read-alike will be disappointed by this.

READ REVIEW

DISCONNECTED

Milly, 17, is tormented by Amelia Norris, but Amelia isn’t another girl—she’s part of Milly herself.

Whether Milly is schizophrenic and hearing voices, has blackouts due to a personality disorder, or suffers from some more fantastical difficulty is unclear. That confusion passes for mystery as Milly attempts to understand the fire that burned down the house she shared with her grandfather and sends them to live with an aunt with secrets of her own. While Milly finds something good with Blake, the gardener who works for her aunt, her mental instabilities lead the teen to the hospital and some clarity, only to have an out-of-nowhere plot twist threaten her fragile progress. There are a few nice turns of phrase and description in this novel, but they can’t overcome all the other problems with Cronkhite’s work (which is inspired by her own mental health struggles, according to her author’s note). Milly’s voice comes off as completely inauthentic, and the dialogue is trite and stilted, full of sentences that sound straight from a school nurse’s pamphlets. The plot is full of unnecessary details and appears to be laboring to be edgy.

Teens hoping for an Ellen Hopkins read-alike will be disappointed by this. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-9293-4502-1

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Poisoned Pen

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

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?

No Comments Yet

A fast-paced, plot-driven page-turner for fans of darker mysteries.

THE LOST

A teen fights to survive in the midst of a mystery not unlike the ones she enjoys reading.

In the small town of Mauveton, 11 teenagers have disappeared in the past six months. The police seem to be writing them off as runaways, but introverted 16-year-old crime enthusiast Piper and her friend Hazel believe there is more to the story. The girls decide to investigate the disappearances by following in the footsteps of the missing teens right before they supposedly ran away. While hanging out at the local lake where most of the town’s teens spend their free time during the summer, they run into a couple of wealthy local college boys. They soon discover the truth: Locked away in a hidden compound filled with horrific surprises, Piper has to find the will to survive and make it back to her parents alive, especially since they already lost one daughter. Preston (You Will Be Mine, 2018, etc.) weaves a terrifying tale with unexpected friendships, romance, and surprising twists. Most characters are assumed white, but there is some diversity in secondary characters. While the unforeseen twists and unexpected ending make this an intriguing read, the story moves very quickly, leaving little room for relationships and characters to develop believably.

A fast-paced, plot-driven page-turner for fans of darker mysteries. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5226-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more