Red Dirt

368p. Harlequin Teen. Aug. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780373212514.
Gr 9 Up—Having grown up in Oklahoma and lived in the backwoods town of Lake Bittersweet her entire life, Sammie Lester is one tough cookie. She doesn't expect to ever leave her hometown, nor does she want to. It may not be the life Sammie's brother has, going to college, or the life her friends want, leaving to discover something new, but it's what she knows and loves—until someone turns it upside down. Her father is missing, and the longer it takes to locate him, the less likely he is to be alive. Sammie has to find not only her dad but also herself in the process. This is a coming-of-age novel for the modern-day Western fan, written with an Oklahoma twang. The mystery of Sammie's father's disappearance is just a small part of the teen's journey to womanhood. Sammie's past, present, and future clash, leaving readers wanting more. Themes of sex, abortion, and murder are woven throughout. Voice and tone are authentic, and fans of the author won't be disappointed.
VERDICT A good choice for libraries serving mystery lovers and reluctant readers.

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