Let me tell you how I came across this book. I was shelving books at my local library in the Young Adult section, when I picked up this book off of my trolley. I just couldn’t bring myself to put it on the shelf. They say to never judge a book by its cover, but that’s how I pick most of my books. Not based on how they look, but based on this inexplicable 6th sense I have when it comes to picking out books. My internal compass was strongly choosing this book as its true north. So I finished shelving an hour earlier than planned and started reading.
Flash forward about 40 hours. The book was finished, and fortunately, my so-called 6th sense was correct. I loved it. Right from the summary, the book was an attention-catcher. You know those high-energy-not-at-all-depressing trailers or short clips for murder mysteries where there’s like a short video of each suspect, more intriguing than sad? That’s what this book was like.
Okay, I’ve bored you enough. Let’s get onto the review.
Realisticness (is that a word?)- Very. Each character goes through a change for the better, becoming more independent, courageous, so on. The only thing is that the way the police handled it would have never happened in real life. They placed all the blame on the four students who happened to be in the room at the same time rather than considering who else could have had a thing against Simon.
Page Turner– Yes. Like I said, I finished it in less than two days. I had a suspicion who killed Simon from the very beginning, and I was right. But it was still really good.
Imagery– Colorful, energetic. I’ve come to realize that a lot of the imagery going on in the reader’s head is based on the cover of the book, and this book is no exception.
Author– you could tell the author was a strong civil-rights advocate. Karen M. McManus touched on racial and homosexual themes, even if only for a sentence or two every other chapter. She also talked about the police violating the 5th amendment.
Do I Recommend?– Definitely. I think that this book would reel in a teenage audience than any other, but I would think that a high school murder mystery would be pretty interesting to anyone. It’s also a super quick read, so I would place it on hold at the library rather than buying it.