Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg

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Honestly Ben is a YA novel by Bill Konigsberg. It’s the companion/sequel to Openly Straight. Now, I haven’t read Openly Straight, but as soon as I saw Honestly Ben on the new arrivals shelf at my town library, I just had to add it to my borrowing pile.

Ben is a student at the Natick School, a prestigious boys’ boarding school in suburban Massachusetts. As an aside, this is vaguely my neck of the woods, so I was quite enchanted by the setting. Anyway, Ben has decided to focus on academics and baseball. He feels that his involvement with Rafe Goldberg the previous semester (chronicled in Openly Straight) was a phase, and as school resumes, there is a notable froideur between the pair. Everything is going well for Ben- he’s even dating a girl from the local girls’ school- but something doesn’t feel quite right. Ben needs to figure out what he needs to make himself happy, and not what will make everyone else happy. Read more

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People Like Us by Dana Mele

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People Like Us is a young adult novel written by Dana Mele. I read this book a while ago, but I am woefully behind with my review writing. I had heard about this book, and so I requested it via my library network.

It is an absolute nightmare when the body of a student turns up in the lake on the campus of the exclusive Bates Academy, but for Kay Donovan, it’s just the beginning. She receives a message from the dead girl, instructing her to confront her friends, and if Kay fails to comply, there will be consequences. It seems as though everyone is keeping secrets, but the biggest secret of all is how the girl ended up in the lake in the first place. Could Kay be implicated for the crime? Read more

Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens

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Jolly Foul Play is a middle grade novel written by Robin Stevens. It is the fourth Wells & Wong Mystery that features Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, the intrepid schoolgirl sleuths. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book with my oldest daughter because I had a feeling she would like it.

Hazel and Daisy are back at Deepdean for another year, and there have been a lot of changes. Elizabeth, the new Head Girl, is very cruel to the younger girls. She and her five friends rule the school, and there are severe repercussions for the most minor of infractions. On Bonfire Night, Elizabeth is found dead on the playing field. The Headmistress insists it was an accident, but Hazel and Daisy are convinced that it is murder- especially after someone begins releasing secrets about the girls at the school. It is time for the Detective Society to reconvene and solve their fourth murder! Read more

S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett

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S.T.A.G.S. is a young adult novel written by M.A. Bennett. This book had piqued my interest because I love boarding school stories, and I was very excited when I finally had the opportunity to read it.

Greer is a new student at St. Aidan the Great, a posh English boarding school. She doesn’t really fit in with her peers, so needless to say, she is quite surprised when she receives an invitation to spend the weekend at the country estate of the most popular boy in the school. Henry and his friends are collectively known as the Medievals, and they serve as school prefects.

Greer is enchanted by the sumptuous estate, and flattered by the attention from Henry. She’s so wrapped up in these superficial details that she fails to notice that the weekend of “Huntin’, Shootin’, and Fishin’” has taken a sinister turn. She and her fellow guests must band together if they are going to survive the weekend. Read more

Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney

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Romancing the Throne is a young adult novel written by Nadine Jolie Courtney. I had seen some buzz about this book, and it seemed like a YA version of The Royal We, which is one of my favorite books. I finally snagged a copy from the library, and recently finished reading it.

Charlotte is a student at the posh Sussex Park School, and she has found herself in an elite circle of friends, one of whom is Prince Edward, the heir to the English throne. There is an instant connection, and Charlotte is just thrilled to be dating the handsome young prince.

But conflict arises when Charlotte’s older sister Libby transfers to Sussex Park. Charlotte introduces Libby to everyone in her circle, and is utterly horrified when Libby and Edward start spending time together. Everything seems like a huge mess, but apparently, the worst is yet to come. Can Charlotte salvage everything she holds dear before it is completely destroyed? Read more

The Property of Lies by Marjorie Eccles

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The Property of Lies is the second book in Marjorie Eccles’ series of mystery books featuring Detective Herbert Reardon. It takes place a couple of years after the first book, Heirs and Assigns, and this book has our intrepid detective investigating a murder at a girls’ boarding school.

Coincidentally, Reardon’s wife has just accepted a position at the school because the last French teacher disappeared. Not too much later, the missing teacher’s body in a dilapidated corner of the property. Read more

The White Devil by Justin Evans

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The White Devil is a horror novel written by Justin Evans. I had this book on my Kindle, but never got around to reading it. I took the opportunity to add the Audible edition of this book at a reduced price; when things get busy, it is easier for me to listen to books than to read them.

Andrew Taylor is an American high school student. He has enrolled at Harrow as a desperate measure to improve his chances of getting into a good university after an incident at his last school. Harrow, the second most famous boys’ school in England, is steeped in centuries of tradition, is the perfect place for Andrew to improve his character.

However, trouble seems to follow Andrew. As soon as school begins, one of his new hallmates turns up dead. Andrew was the one who found the body, and more than that- Andrew saw a ghastly figure standing over the boy. But who would believe such a wild story? Read more

Murder Between the Lines by Radha Vatsal

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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Murder Between the Lines is the second book in Radha Vatsal’s Kitty Weeks mystery series. These books take place during World War I- but before the United States has entered the war. Kitty is a young woman who works as a newspaper reporter for the Ladies’ Page of The New York Sentinel. She doesn’t intend to become a detective, but her dedication to discovering the truth compels her to pursue irregularities until victims receive the justice they deserve.

In this book, a routine story about a girls’ boarding school places Kitty back in investigator mode. At the school, Kitty meets a bright girl named Elspeth. They arrange to get together when Elspeth returns home for Christmas vacation. She is excited about something she wants to tell Kitty, but the next morning, Elspeth is found outside- dead. The death is labeled a tragic accident, a side effect of Elspeth’s childhood sleepwalking. Naturally, Kitty is suspicious, and as she probes deeper, she realizes that she has every reason to feel that way. Read more

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

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I found Outrun the Moon on a Goodreads list a couple of months before it came out. My interest was piqued, and I added it to my queue. I found it in the New YA Books section at my town library.

Outrun the Moon is a YA novel by Stacy Lee. It takes place around the time of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. There have been a couple of recent books across various genres set during the same milieu; this is not surprising- it is the 100th anniversary of the great tragedy.

Mercy Wong is a hard working young woman living in Chinatown. She does not have any opportunities for school beyond the 8th grade in her community, and she wants nothing but the best for herself. That includes a position for herself at St. Clare’s, an exclusive girls’ school. This school is not open to Chinese girls, but Mercy finagles a position for herself. Read more

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

51im2bhf5szlMy absolute favorite book genre is boarding school stories, and also I love Sherlock Holmes stories and spinoffs… so I was very excited about A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. This YA novel is the first in a planned trilogy about a new Holmes and Watson pairing.

Jamie Watson is an English boy at an American boarding school- the same school that Charlotte Holmes attends. They are the descendants of the famous Holmes and Watson, and Charlotte has been demonstrating her aptitude for sleuthing since she was a child. Jamie, however, has not had any opportunities to sleuth, and he feels simultaneously awkward and excited when that opportunity arises unexpectedly.

A student is found dead- a rather nasty fellow- one whom both Jamie and Charlotte had negative encounters with in the very recent past. So, in order to avoid implication in the boy’s death, Holmes and Watson must try to solve the case. Read more