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 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 Jennifer Donaldson

5 Stars

Written by Jennifer Donaldson, I Know You Remember, follows the life of 17-year-old Ruthie Hayden, thrilled to move back to her hometown Anchorage and reunite with her best friend Zahra Gaines. Moments after arriving, she learns the devastating news that Zahra had gone missing after vanishing from a party a few days before Ruthie’s arrival. While Ruthie digs deeper into Zahra’s mysterious disappearance, she learns that her once best friend Zahra has had drastically changed her life. Zahra has gone from being the playful, creative girl who loved books and a girl who knew every of Ruthie’s secrets to an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Ruthie desperately tries to unpack the truth as she falls much deeper into her friend’s new world, coming close to a dangerous realization of what Zahra experienced in the days before her disappearance, one that might be better off not spoken about and buried

Ruthie is not ready to give up searching for Zahra as she makes risky decisions in the mission to find Zahra. 

With a very chilling plot twist and keeping readers on the edge of their seats with eyes glued to the pages, Jennifer Donaldson brings the thrilling mystery to a shocking and unexpected conclusion. My favourite part was the twist at the end because it shows that the characters aren’t who they seem to be. I extremely enjoyed and highly recommend this astonishing novel to young adults.

Amina F.

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You’re Next

by Kylie Schachte

You're Next by Kylie Schachte

Flora Calhoun has a history of finding dead bodies. First, it was Lucy, a classmate whose body she discovered while out for a jog. Now, years later, Flora is still resentful toward the polices inability to arrest the killer.

At school, Flora now has a reputation for sticking her nose in other people’s business and getting into trouble. One night, Flora receives an unexpected phone call from Ava McQueen, a girl who captured her heart, then stopped talking to her.

When Flora arrives to help Ava, she finds her bleeding on the pavement, and Flora is launched back into her memories of finding Lucy. Now, after finding not one, but two bodies, Flora sets herself out to find the murderer, no matter the cost.

Kylie Schachte has written a gripping thriller! An intense story with a flawed main character, You’re Next is bound to be your next favourite read.

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.