Unnatural Deeds

320p. ebook available. Sourcebooks/Fire. Nov. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492635796.
Gr 6 Up—The latest from YA novelist Balog, this fast contemporary title takes readers on a dark journey through mental illness and murder. Victoria narrates the story to her best friend and boyfriend Andrew, who is her agoraphobic, homeschooled neighbor of seven years. She wrestles with her guilt, though, after finding herself drawn to new student Z. Secrets and well-placed clues shape the suspenseful plot, which balances Vic's relatable questions about romance with true crime suspense surrounding a missing person. Police reports, interrogations, and newspaper articles about the crime begin each chapter and offer a refreshing change of writing style while foreshadowing the tale's climax. Vic's psychological struggle culminates in an unpredictable, shocking ending that most readers will not see coming. This thriller will stay with readers long after the last page.
VERDICT A good choice for teens who are dealing with the loss of a friend. A strong purchase for YA thriller collections.

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