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One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

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One of Us Is Lying is a young adult novel written by Karen M. McManus. I found it on the new release shelf at my town library.

Five teens walk into detention: Bronwyn is an academic overachiever, Addy is a pretty girl, Nate is a drug dealer, Cooper is a baseball star, and Simon is brooding and aloof. They are all there because they were caught with cell phones during class. There’s just one problem- the phones aren’t actually theirs and none of them have any idea what the phones are doing in their bags. They are a rather eclectic group, and don’t necessarily run in the same social circles. Being in detention for a something they didn’t actually do is the least of their concerns because by the end of detention, one of the five is dead. Continue reading

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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The Hate U Give is a young adult novel written by Angie Thomas. I kept hearing about how amazing it was, so I requested a copy through my library network.

Starr Carter is a typical teenager who searches for her place in the world. Her parents want her to have more opportunities than her urban neighborhood can offer, so they sacrifice to send her to a private school in the suburbs where she is one of the only African American students. She drifts between these two worlds, not feeling entirely comfortable in either. She is excited to reconnect with her best friend Khalil at a party, but when Khalil offers her a ride home, their car is pulled over and Khalil is shot by the police officer. Starr is the only witness, and initially, she takes solace in her anonymity. But when the police officer claims that she and Khalil were combative and that his actions were self-defense, Starr knows that she has to speak out. Continue reading

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The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

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The One That Got Away was written by Melissa Pimentel. This is a cute story that bills itself as a modern version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I don’t usually read a great deal of contemporary adult fiction, and I must admit that the Austen connection is what drew me to this book.

Ruby lives and works in NYC, and has dedicated herself wholeheartedly to her career in advertising. As the story begins, she is preparing to travel to England for her little sister’s dream wedding. There’s just one problem- Ruby’s ex-boyfriend is going to be there as well because he’s best friends with the groom. Continue reading

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Perennials by Mandy Berman

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

Perennials is author Mandy Berman’s debut novel. I was looking forward to reading this book because I spent seven summers at sleepaway camp as both a camper and a counselor, so I could relate to the subject matter and wanted to see how this (albeit fictional) account compared to my own experiences.

Rachel lives in an apartment in the city with her single mother and Fiona lives in a big house in Westchester with her family. But when they meet at summer camp as girls, they find that they have a lot in common.   Continue reading

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Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick

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

Yours Truly is the second book in Heather Vogel Frederick’s Pumpkin Falls mystery series. This book is narrated by Truly Lovejoy, who is turning thirteen as the story begins. It is Spring Break, and Truly’s cousin is coming to visit New Hampshire- all the way from Texas.

There is a lot going on in this book. In addition to the typical trials and tribulations of a middle schooler, we also have maple syrup season, the swim team, vandalism that threatens to tear the small town apart, and discoveries of a historical significance. It almost seemed like there was too much going on for one book, but I’m not sure which aspect of the plot could be eliminated without leaving a noticeable void. Continue reading

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The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

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I’ve enjoyed several of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars books, so I was excited when I found her latest book The Amateurs at the library.

Speaking of Pretty Little LiarsThe Amateurs begins in a similar fashion. The details are different, of course, but the bottom line is that Helena Kelly, a pretty girl in an affluent suburb disappears and is found dead.

Five years later, Seneca Frazier is a college student who is obsessed with the Helena Kelly case. She connects with Maddy, an online friend from a true crime/amateur sleuth website. Maddy, who is from Dexby, the town where the crime occurred, invites Seneca to come visit for Spring Break. What better way to cross-reference the details of the case? Perhaps they can uncover some clues that the police missed! Continue reading

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Brightwood by Tania Unsworth

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

Brightwood is a middle grade novel written by Tania Unsworth. This was originally published under the title The Secret Life of Daisy Fitzjohn, but the name was changed for the American edition.

Daisy Fitzjohn is a young girl living in a manor house in England. Her life is quite unconventional. To begin with, she has never left Brightwood Hall; this is a modern story, so never having left her house is unusual. Daisy has wondered about the outside world, but she is content to remain at home while her mother leaves the house for provisions. And if being isolated from the outside world was not enough, it is immediately clear that Daisy’s mother is a hoarder. Daisy is unfazed by the unconventional lifestyle; after all, she doesn’t know that anything is amiss. She is content to converse with her friends, like the rat named Tar and a topiary horse. Continue reading