by Karen M. McManus

4.5 Stars

Two Can Keep a Secret is definitely my favourite Karen McManus novel. The ending was something I never saw coming! I highly anticipated this book, and it did not disappoint. McManus writes in a way that hooks you right from the very beginning, and keeps you guessing until the end! 

Two Can Keep a Secret tells the story of two teenagers, Ellery and Ezra, who move to an old town called Echo Ridge. They have to go live with their grandmother, whom they barely know, while their mom is in rehab. Echo Ridge is a small town with a big reputation for mysteries and things going wrong. Many years ago, Ellery and Ezra’s aunt (their mom’s twin) went missing when she was just seventeen. Five years ago, the homecoming queen was killed… and now another girl is missing. The siblings soon become intertwined with the secrets and the tensions of Echo Ridge, while also trying to uncover the truth around all those disappearances. 

This novel is definitely a page-turner. It is impossible to put down once you start reading as you want to figure out what happened to the missing girls. This novel ends on a big cliffhanger, which makes the novel impeccable. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and would recommend it to any teenager or YA!

Emily O.

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by Brittany Cavallaro

5 Stars

A Study in Charlotte : Cavallaro, Brittany: Books

Written by Brittany Cavallaro, A Study in Charlotte is a young adult mystery adventure novel. Jamie Watson had always dreamt of solving mysteries with Charlotte Holmes and following in the footsteps of both of their great-great-great-grandfathers. When he and Charlotte both end up at the same boarding school, she makes it clear she does not have the same dream. Although, when they are both framed for murder, they are forced to work together to prove their innocence and find the real killer. 

This book was super easy to read. I was immediately intrigued by the characters and plot. I also really enjoyed the faster pace, it did not drag on but it also never seemed rushed. I loved the dynamic between Charlotte and Jamie, a know-it-all girl with an awkward, empathetic boy. They complimented each other, made for a perfect pairing and the aspects of a slow burn romance were adorable. Serious topics like mentions of rape, substance abuse, and murder were never romanticized and were handled really well. There was no shortage of references to the original Sherlock Holmes stories; they fit into the novel and were satisfying but not overpowering. Brittany Cavallaro did an excellent job pulling the reader into the book with her writing- filled with plot twists and mystery, it really made you think. This was a perfectly witty and charming re-imagining of Watson and Holmes as a modern-day crime-solving duo. I immediately wanted to pick up the sequel and continue reading about these characters.

Megan S.

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by Karen M. McManus

4 Stars

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus: 9781524714680 | Books

At Bayview High, everyone has secrets. Thanks to Simon Kelleher, runner of the school’s notorious gossip app, About That, those secrets are displayed for everyone to see. In one week, Simon is planning his juiciest reveal yet, but unfortunately, the plan is interrupted. The day before the reveal, five students enter detention–Bronwyn (the brain), Cooper (the athlete), Addy (the beauty), Nate (the criminal), and Simon himself. Only four of them make it out alive, the same four students whose deepest secrets were scheduled to be released the next day. But Simon is dead, and the four are now the prime suspects in his murder. 

Everyone has secrets, but who would go this far to prevent them from getting out?

This book is perfect for fans of The Breakfast Club, Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars, and Love, Simon, since it feels like a crossover between all of them. This book is fast-paced, exciting, and the plot twists will continue to shock you and keep you guessing. It also has a bit of everything, from drama to mystery to coming of age, friendship and romance. I’d recommend this book to people who enjoy teen dramas, people looking to get into mysteries, or anyone who may have gotten bored of reading and needs something that moves along quickly to keep them interested. I’d also recommend listening to the audiobook if you like that format because it’s read by a full cast! I’d rate this book 4 out of 5 stars and suggest reading the sequel, One of Us is Next, or Karen McManus’ other book Two Can Keep A Secret if you want more.

Michelle G.

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I Killed Zoe Spanos

by Kit Frick

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Anna Cicconi has high hopes for the summer. A fresh start, and a babysitting gig at an elegant home in the Hamptons. What could go wrong? Almost immediately, Anna notices something off about the small town of Herron Mills. After asking some questions she realizes she has stepped into a town that is still reeling from the loss of one of it’s residents; teenager Zoe Spanos. Not only does Anna bear an uncanny resemblance to Zoe, she also finds herself remembering Zoe, even though she has never met her.

But Anna brushes this off, chalking it up to nerves and her lack of sleep.

However, when Zoe’s body is found at the bottom of a lake, Anna can’t ignore the memories she is having of Zoe, and her possible murder.

When Anna confesses, local podcaster Martina Green immediately notices that her confession is full of holes, and sets off to prove the truth of what happened to Zoe Spanos.

A slow burn thriller, Kit Frick amps up the chills in this compelling YA novel.

A Castle in the Clouds

by Kerstin Gier A Castle in the Clouds (9781250300195): Gier, Kerstin ...

High up in the Swiss Alps exists a marvelous hotel, where rich guests pay for extravagance and Christmas and New Years is an event to behold. When Sophie Spark signed up for her internship there, she did not expect anything but beautiful nature and maybe a kiss or two. However, when guests start arriving and weird things start happening Sophie is sure criminals from the past have resurfaced at the hotel. It will take guts, will and smarts to figure this out, and Sophie Spark has all three.

In this atmospheric and mysterious setting, Kerstin Gier has created a cast of characters that will keep you on your toes!

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A Study in Charlotte

by Brittany Cavallaro

Image result for a study in charlotte

Jamie Watson has an interesting year ahead of him. With a Rugby scholarship in hand, he is on his way to an elite prep school in Connecticut, which also happens to be a car ride away from his absent father. Almost immediately, Jamie realizes this is not his only worry: he is at the same school as Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes.

After acknowledging that his family and hers have a lot of history, Jamie decides to keep his distance. However, when a student is murdered in the fashion of a Sherlock Holmes case, Jamie is pulled into a storm of murder and intrigue with Charlotte Holmes at the helm. As more time passes, Jamie realizes he and Charlotte are being framed for murder. Together, they must overcome their tension and work toward an answer that will clear their names.

Brittany Cavalarro creates a tense and atmospheric read, with a new twist on beloved stories and new character in the Sherlock Holmes universe.

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The Hand on the Wall

By Maureen Johnson

Image result for the hand on the wall

The last book in the Truly Devious trilogy is finally here! Stevie is sure that Ellingham Academy has a black cloud hanging over it. Mayhem and murder has engrossed the school, causing two deaths, and one more in town that Stevie is sure is connected to the school somehow.

Underneath these murders is a connection, and Stevie just has to find it. But with all the chaos of life and school, Stevie finds it hard to penetrate what has happened. Not to mention she is pretty sure she has solved the case of the century. And it all adds up to what is happening now.

When another accident occurs and the school is under a storm warning, Stevie decides to stay behind on the mountain–and so do her friends. Together, they must confront their troubles and a murderer.

Maureen Johnson’s concluding novel satisfyingly brings together every loose end in the Truly Devious trilogy. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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5 Stars

by Stuart Turton 

Image result for the seven deaths of evelyn hardcastle

In Stuart Turton’s ingenious mystery, The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle, Aiden finds himself all alone in a dark, eerie forest residing on the grounds of Blackheath. He has no memories of his past or who he is. However, one thing remains ingrained in his mind, the name Anna. In order to find out about his past, he must solve the mystery of the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. This fairly straightforward task sends Aiden on a long, winding path that involves him unravelling the many secrets of Blackheath. Figuring out who the mysterious Anna is, and answering the question ‘who am I?’ all while avoiding the dangerous footman.  

I personally enjoyed this original, exciting page-turner. One of the things I enjoyed was the fact that unlike most mystery novels, there were many different layers hidden inside the one main mystery, which led to some interesting choices made by Aiden on which task to prioritize. On top of this, Stuart Turton added in an intriguing element to the storyline and character definition, with how Aiden became one of the different guests each day. With each guest came advantages and disadvantages, adding another layer of excitement and creativity. I also appreciated how the history of Blackheath was brought into the mystery. Furthermore, every time it seemed as though Aiden had found the killer, there would be a major revelation proving him wrong. Overall, I highly recommend The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to anyone who is looking for an engaging novel. One that will keep them turning page after page as they attempt to piece the clues together.  

Ethan M.

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The Vanishing Stair

Maureen Johnson

In Maureen Johnson’s second installment in her Truly Devious Series, readers delve into the present while keeping an eye on the past. Stevie Bell has solved one mystery, but the murders of the past still haunt her. However, when she is forced to leave Ellingham Academy against her will, she must try to move past her obsession with the case. Then, a deal is struck and Stevie is whisked back to Ellingham Academy where the past never leaves and the present stalks the school like a ghost. A captivating mystery with twists and turns, The Vanishing Stair will leave readers wondering and wishing for the final and third installment.

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Truly Devious

Maureen Johnson

Stevie Bell is finally getting what she wants- a chance to attend the famous Ellingham Academy in Vermont. The school boasts a different kind of curriculum, where the greatest inventors, thinkers and creators come together to explore and learn. For Stevie however, this is chance of a lifetime. As a true crime enthusiast, Stevie has dedicated her young life to solving the murder of Albert Ellingham’s wife and daughter, the founder of the school. Maureen Johnson weaves two story lines into the book, taking readers back to the early days of the school and the murders as well as following Stevie on her hunt to find the murderer decades later. A truly captivating novel, lovers of true crime and mystery should not wait to pick up this book.

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