You’re Next

Little, Brown/Jimmy Patterson Bks. Jun. 2020. 464p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316493772.
Gr 7-10–When she was 14, Flora Calhoun found Lucy McDonald’s battered body while out on a run. Since then, she has lost everything trying to bring Lucy’s killer to justice: friends (except for her best friend, Cass), her credibility, and her mother. Things started looking up when Flora gets involved with the impossibly gorgeous Ava McQueen, but out of the blue, Ava stops talking to her. Which makes it all the more confusing when Ava texts Flora in the middle of the night: “Flora, I need your help. Come fast.” Flora isn’t quick enough, though, and holds Ava in her arms as she bleeds out in a dark alleyway. Flora digs deep into the secret lives of her classmates with the help of Cass, her ex-CIA grandfather, her younger sister, and VT, a handsome informant who is on his own mission to find the truth. Schachte’s debut novel has the pacing of a stick of dynamite: a slow burn leading to an explosive ending. Flora is unflinchingly honest and real due to her flaws. She is abrasive, refuses to open up to those close to her, and is a pretty terrible friend; yet she is smart, vulnerable, and genuinely cares for those she’s trying to help and protect. The ending is abrupt, but readers will find enough action between clues to satisfy their thirst for thrills.
VERDICT A fairly standard murder mystery that goes out with quite a bang. Hand to readers who just can’t get enough sleuthing.

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