Neverworld Wake

Marisha Pessl

Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her six best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius and Beatrice’s boyfriend—changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—hoping she’ll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers… and at life.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake.

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The Girl With a Clock for a Heart

Peter Swanson

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart was not one of my favourite reads; it was alright, mostly due to the speed the novel moves along and the unmarked time switches from past to present. You learn more about George Foss and his connection to Aubrey and Liana Decter as events in both past and present move forward. The mystery unfolds about his still-burning love for Aubrey and willingness to do anything to see her again. Fear, mystery and a heist join together to create the story of the girl with a clock for a heart.

The title does not quite reflect the book. However, it is understood through slight connections to conversations had with George and his friend. There are corrupt businesses and private investigators, fraud and lots of murder. George Foss has awaited the return of Liana Decter since his first year of college. Now in his late forties, she unexpectedly shows up at the bar he frequents, but he cannot accept that it truly is her. Out with his on-again-off-again girlfriend having drinks, he ignores the look-alike woman. When they finally once again speak, Liana asks his for a favour. She is in danger. He is the only one she trusts to help him. But after all these years, can George trust Liana?

This book is a one that leaves you questioning at the end. Not everything is as it seems! Death is not always as it seems. Question everything you believe to be true about the book. An intense book with unidentified time flips and that starts out quick but as the story progresses slows down and makes it harder to define what’s in the present and what is in the past. -Zoe P.

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Before I Let Go

Marieke Nijkamp

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.

Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated—and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. In addition, they push Corey away as if she is a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets—chilling secrets. Piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…

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Turtles All The Way Down

John Green

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there is a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. Together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

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She Said / She Saw

Norah McClintock

Teagan was in the backseat of a vehicle during a drive-by shooting, in which her close friends Martin and Clark were brutally murdered. Maybe a random killing spree? Or maybe just a misunderstanding? But as much as Tegan wants to deliver justice for Martin and Clark, she has not seen the killer, or so she says. Considering the circumstances, no one believes her — she was in the back seat while someone pulled out a gun and murdered the two people in front of her. Almost impossible for Tegan to not as much as catch a glimpse of the killer, which is what the police, Tegan’s friends, family and practically everyone around her seem to think. Life for Tegan gets immensely challenging, on top of all the trauma and emotional damage. All her relationships start to fade as everyone thinks that the only reason Tegan is not naming anyone is that of her selfishness and need to keep her name clear, so she would not put herself in harm’s way. However, there is a lot more to this case than Tegan and everyone thinks. Maybe some people thought to be clean of any crimes are the ones buried under piles of them. Tegan has to do something, anything to help Clark and Martin and herself.

In this book that is written in two points of views -Tegan and her sister Kelly’s- discover all the sacrifices and decisions Tegan has to make to make things right. Get your hands on this book as soon as you can, you won’t regret it. An amazing read that keeps you in suspense yet wanting more and more as you continue. – Oshadi G.

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The Fixer

Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Tess Kendrick has lived on her grandfather’s farm for as long as she can remember. She spent years hiding her grandfather from the world so no one would know about his mental state. She was successful until her older sister, Ivy, sends him to a mental hospital and brings Tess to live with her in Washington D.C. Tess is anything but happy about this new arrangement, as she hates her sister for abandoning her years ago.

Tess starts at a private school, Hardwicke Academy, only attended by the children of politicians and occasionally the very wealthy. It doesn’t take Tess long to realize that her sister has far from an ordinary job. Ivy is what Washington calls a “fixer”. Weirdly, Tess takes after her sister and while Ivy is solving the problems of people in the White House, Tess is solving the problems of their teenage kids. For Tess, it starts off as smaller problems, such as bullies and grades, but it soon enlarges into a national problem.

Tess is a natural born investigator. When a Supreme Court Justice dies, Ivy is the first person on the case. While Ivy does her best to keep Tess out of it, Tess cannot help herself. Individually, they gather information, but whoever planned the death for the Justice isn’t going down easily. Tess and Ivy soon find themselves in a position where their lives are on the line. Tess just got her sister back, but is she going to lose her again?

The Fixer is a great mystery novel based around American politics. It has an interesting plot with lots of twists, always leaving you wanting to know what is going to happen next. I thought it was refreshing that this book didn’t revolved around a romance with the main character. The book also has a message with Tess and Ivy that even though their relationship is complicated, they still love and want the best for each other. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, as it is one of my new favourites, and would definitely recommend it.

If you want to read more about Tess, you should check out the sequel, The Long Game. – Melanie G.

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Asylum

Madeleine Roux

Asylum is the first book in a trilogy, following Abby, Dan and, Jordan while they work their way through, and remarkably survive, countless run-ins with dark secrets hidden within the town of Brookline.

Daniel “Dan” Crawford is a normal teenage boy looking for a bit of adventure when he decides to participate in a summer program that’s being held in a historic, restored mental institution that has been repurposed as Brookline University. What he actually discovers is more than he bargained for, to say the least. The moment he steps foot onto the grounds of the school he receives an uneasy feeling, though he’s not sure from what, but he shakes it off and convinces himself that he’s just nervous. While residing at Brookline he meets a mysterious professor who seems oddly obsessed with him and his name, a roommate who is doing creepy things like watching Dan sleep and digging through his bags, and his only allies in his nightmare to come; Abby and Jordan.

Personally, the book was exciting and mysterious, it didn’t give away what the plot twist was too early and by the end, you desperately wanted another adventure with the trio! At times the writing was confusing and it was helpful to go back and read it over again but I think that was all part of the author’s tricks; to confuse you in a subtle way. By far the best book of the series, Asylum is always a great choice; for a quick read, a rainy day, or even to scare yourself a little bit as the authentic-looking images throughout made you feel the fear as the characters did. – Maggie D.

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Jane, Unlimited

Kristin Cashore

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep-sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. However, Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane does not know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. At Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

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The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Chelsea Sedoti

Hawthorn Creely is not an average teenager. Her mother is a flower-child, she believes in werewolves, and she spends all her time inside. But even Hawthorn knows who Lizzie Lovett is. When once-popular Lizzie Lovett goes missing, Hawthorn is intrigued. It is exactly the kind of mystery her boring town needs. So, Hawthorn gathers clues by getting a job at the diner Lizzie used to work at, hanging out with Lizzie’s boyfriend (who is a suspect in the investigation of Lizzie’s disappearance), and going to all the places Lizzie used to go to. Eventually, Hawthorn comes up with her own theory for what happened to Lizzie. Although it might be a long shot, Hawthorn will not stop until she proves she is right.

Things start to get complicated when bullies start to make fun of the awkward Hawthorn, and Hawthorn loses her best (and only) friend. Hawthorn starts to fall in love with the grieving boyfriend of Lizzie, and choices need to be made about Hawthorn’s future after high school.

It was interesting to read a book where the main character wasn’t flawless. Hawthorn is realistically rude, short sighted, and selfish. Over the course of the book you will see her grow and people learn to love her despite her flaws. I really enjoyed the perspective that Hawthorn had on the world. Although while reading you may not understand why Hawthorn does some of the things she does, in the end you will fall in love with her yourself. – Melanie G.

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She Said / She Saw

Nora McClintock

This novel is told from two points of views: sisters Tegan and Kelly Tyrell, who have completely different interests. Tegan (the older sister) sees her life in a novel, but Kelly (the younger sister) views her life as if it is a movie. You can know which sister is narrating by the style and the name of the sister after the chapter’s number. The novel focuses on the shooting of Tegan’s best friends, Martin Genovese and Clark Carson, when they are driving home from a party in Clark’s car. Tegan, who was not shot and is the only witness, says that she did not see who did it. Unfortunately, nobody believes her; not the police, not the victims’ families, not her best friend, not even her sister Kelly. Everybody thinks that Tegan is hiding something and each person uses their own way to find it, which drives Tegan crazy because she claims that she has nothing to hide. The novel also shows the struggle Tegan experiences after seeing a murder and how her relationships with other people have changed after the incident. Tegan must decide whether to stand up and do the right thing or to stay out of the way.

The novel contains mystery, twists in plots, and gives a sense of suspense. In my opinion, I enjoyed reading it and I recommend it because I found it a little different. Most of teen books focus on romance and drama, but this novel focuses on mystery and crime. It was a good move for me to try another style of teen books. Overall, this is a good book enjoyed by teens for all genders, not recommended for people under the age of 14 years. – Suzan N.

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