Little, Brown. Jun. 2023. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316494557.
Gr 9 Up–A novel in verse for fans of mystery and suspense. A group of nine girls are living in Havenwood, a religious cult that feels similar to a summer camp, except no one is allowed to leave or communicate with the outside world. The group goes to breakfast one morning to find that one of them, Rose, is missing. As time goes on, it is clear Rose isn’t coming back. The girls wonder if she left Havenwood or if something bad happened to her—especially because the elders don’t comment on Rose’s absence. Four days after the disappearance, the girls begin to find clues that lead them to believe Rose did not leave them of her own accord. But in a place as perfect as Havenwood, who would make someone disappear? And why? This novel, told in mostly alternating perspectives, starts off slowly but has an air of mystery about it that will keep readers turning the pages. Once the clues to Rose’s whereabouts start to appear, the story is so captivating that it is difficult to put down. Few details are included about the characters, but it doesn’t detract from the story. Race of characters is not included.
VERDICT With so few mystery verse novels in print, Brunskill’s tale is a welcome addition to the genre. Recommended.

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