by Karen M. McManus

4 Stars

One of Us is Lying was my first YA “Whodunit” book, and it did not disappoint. Karen M. McManus writes in a way that hooks you right from the very beginning and keeps you guessing until the end!

One of Us is Lying follows the story of five Bayview High students, Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, Cooper and Simon. Bronwyn is an intelligent and introverted girl whose goal is to get into Yale. Addy is the popular high school girl who wishes to become the homecoming princess. Nate, also known as the school “bad boy,” is on probation for dealing and doesn’t believe he has a future doing much else. Cooper is a star athlete who has many successes ahead of him. Finally, there is Simon, the outcast and the creator of Simon Says, the high school’s notorious gossip app.

On Monday, these five students find themselves all wound up in detention. At the end, only four exit the classroom. Why you ask? Because Simon is dead, and according to the investigation, it wasn’t an accident. Simon had planned to reveal dirty secrets on the four survivors the next day. Once this is found, Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper all become prime suspects… is one or all of them guilty?

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 Simon. The story is told from the viewpoint of the 4 “prime suspects,” so you get to really relate to each of the characters in unique ways. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to any teenager or YA!

Emily O.

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by Eileen Cook

4 Stars

You Owe Me a Murder, written by Eileen Cook, tells the story of 17-year-old Kim going on a school trip to London. However, Kim hasn’t even boarded the plane and she’s having a terrible time watching her ex-boyfriend Connor and his new girlfriend together. Later on, Kim meets a fellow passenger Nicki, a charming young woman. Unthinkingly on the plane, Kim tells Nicki that she wished Connor, her ex-boyfriend was dead, turning out that Nicki wishes her mother was dead as well — both having someone miserable in their life. Nicki jokingly suggests a proposal for their problems, “I kill your ex. You kill my mum. We both get what we want”. Kim thought it was a joke until a few days later her ex-boyfriend mysteriously had been announced dead after having fallen under an underground train track in London. Kim immediately thinks of Nicki but is unsure of guessing right away. Kim’s assumption is confirmed once Nicki comes back, expecting Kim to return the favour. Kim’s only option is to come clean to the police about wanting Connor dead or get blackmailed by Nicki into committing a crime.

You Owe Me a Murder is an enjoyable twisty thriller that makes teens never wanting to take a break from reading. Personally, I thought Kim was an amusing character because she is such an awesome heroine, relatable but at the same time being a whole savage and powerful character.

Amina F.

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by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

5 Stars

Ace of Spades is Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s first novel and it is impeccable. This book caught my attention not only for its beautiful cover but also for its intriguing description…

Ace of Spades follows the story of two private school students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo. Devon Richards is a quiet and introverted student who is passionate about getting into Julliard. Chiamaka Adebayo is a success-driven student who will stop at nothing to be the best of the best. So, when Devon and Chiamaka are selected to be part of their senior class prefects, something is off. Chiamaka isn’t surprised that she has once again been selected. But Devon is confused. He has never been one for participation or school spirit, but if it means impressing his ma, he will take it. After this announcement is made, someone who goes by the name Aces starts sending anonymous and threatening text messages to the entire school. These messages are directly targeted at Devon and Chiamaka, the only two black students in the school. Could this be a simple coincidence, or is there something deeper to uncover?

This book had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I was mind-blown, shocked and impressed. I didn’t want to put it down. I strongly recommend this book to both teenagers and young adults who like suspense books. I can guarantee you won’t be able to guess the ending of this novel. Ace of Spades is an incredible debut for Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, and I hope she has more books in the works.

Emily O.

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The Companion

by Katie Alender

The Companion by Katie Alender

Margot would not consider herself lucky, at least not lucky like the other orphans see her. They say she’s lucky because she survived the crash that killed her entire family. Margot still wakes up screaming, so she wouldn’t consider herself lucky. When a wealthy family comes to the orphanage to bring Margot home, she thinks the others may have been right.

However, when she arrives, Margot realizes there was a reason that she was brought here. She was hand picked to be the companion to the Suttons silent daughter, Agnes.

At first, Margot enjoys getting to know Agnes, and her older brother. She soon realizes that the house, and the Suttons, have secrets far darker than she could ever imagine.

An unsettling gothic thriller, The Companion takes the reader on a dark journey through the history of a prestigious family and the darkness that resides inside their family tree.