Title: One of Us is Lying (2017)
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Extent: 368 pages
Release Date: June 1, 2017
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
By nature I’m not a huge mystery-thriller reader: while I love the whodunit nature of stories in this genre, I scare remarkably easy and tend to shy away from anything that might make me feel creeped out. I could not, however, resist One of Us is Lying — anything with a group of misfits banding together is right up my alley. Even more so when they all have secrets of their own… and the characters in this book definitely do.
Title: Last Seen Leaving (2016)
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Extent: 336 pages
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.
But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.
Last Seen Leaving reminds me of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, albeit a rather watered down version of it. The stakes aren’t as high. The characters aren’t as complex. The evil is more predictable. Plot-wise, there are similarities as well: missing girl makes national news, their love interest comes under scrutiny, volunteers search the surrounding areas and find clues that turn out to be red herrings, and there’s more to the story than just a person’s disappearance.
Title: Little Peach (2015)
Author: Peggy Kern
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Extent: 208 pages
Review: Thrown out by her drug-addicted mother, fourteen-year-old Michelle runs off to New York, hoping to find an old friend she could stay with. Instead she meets Devon—charming, well-dressed and seemingly kind—who offers her a home, just as long as she does as he says and works for him towards a better future for all of them. From then on, he becomes her ‘Daddy’ and she his ‘Little Peach’.
Little Peach is definitely not your typical contemporary YA book. It’s really short at only 208 pages, it has nothing to do with high school or assignments, and it deals with a terrifyingly real issue: child prostitution. I knew this going in, and yet I wasn’t prepared for the uneasy feeling I had sitting in the pit of my stomach as I read on. That’s a good thing, I think.