The One That Got Away with Murder

Holt. Apr. 2024. 384p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250292162.
Gr 10 Up–Lauren and her mom moved to Happy Valley, all the way across the country, to get a fresh start. But Lauren’s past isn’t so easy to get away from, especially when she is still terrified of fire and pushing everyone away to avoid hurting them. When Lauren learns that Robbie Crestmont, her casual hook-up, is infamous in Happy Valley, and then discovers new evidence that might prove everyone’s theory true—that he killed his girlfriend two years ago—she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous chase for the truth. Lauren’s character development is exceptional, as she slowly learns how to let people in again, and she struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the way she feels about herself as a result of it. The mystery is well developed and keeps readers guessing right along with Lauren and her friends. The twists and turns make for an exciting read that teens won't be able to put down. Though it is never explicitly stated, Lauren shows clear signs of having PTSD. She and the Crestmonts read white, and some secondary characters are diverse, both in race and sexuality.
VERDICT Fans of Karen M. McManus will love debut author Lundy’s well-developed mystery with plenty of thrills.

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