This beautifully realized debut delves into the emotions of a girl recovering from drug addiction and grief, all wrapped up in a solid mystery.
Sophie and Mina have been best friends since second grade. When they were 14, they were involved in a car accident that nearly killed Sophie, who became addicted to OxyContin during her recovery. Sophie has kicked her habit with the help of her bounty-hunter aunt and clings to each day that she stays clean. As the book opens, however, readers learn that Mina has been murdered. Since the murderer planted OxyContin in Sophie’s pocket, everyone, including Sophie’s mom and the police, believes that the girls were trying to buy drugs. Sophie knows the murderer will go free unless she uncovers a story that Mina was investigating for the local newspaper—but pursuing him will put her in grave danger. Sharpe writes in chapters alternating between scenes from the past and present as she moves the story forward. Within the mystery plot, she focuses mostly on Sophie’s battle against drugs and against those who refuse to believe her—and on an emotional secret the two girls shared. She doesn’t settle for simplistic, one-dimensional characters, giving each flaws and virtues, strengths and weaknesses, from Sophie’s parents to her friends.
An absorbing story full of depth and emotion. (Mystery. 14-18)