Friday, January 26, 2018


"Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to "talk." Things couldn’t get worse, right? Then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. He and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney. April swears she didn’t kill Fox. Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth, but April has something he needs. Her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to clear his sister’s name . . . or die trying."

Thanks to the generosity of Karen M. McManus I had the opportunity to read an ARC of WHITE RABBIT by Caleb Roehrig, and, well, I read it in one day. That's really all you need to know that this YA thriller is successful at drawing you in, keeping you turning pages. This was a satisfying almost old-school mystery, with a shocking set-up with the bloody sister holding the knife, and the protagonist tracking down and talking to suspects, but the menace of the killer lurking in the mist and shadows through one wild night keeps the suspense brewing. And the relationships take this over the top. I adored the main relationship explored between Rufus and Sebastian, but Rufus' history with and feelings about his sister, father, mother, and classmates were compelling as well. No spoilers here, but lines like describing broken ceramics at a busted-up party as "bloodthirsty confetti" and a suspect like "the daughter of Regina George and Voldemort" made me have to put down the book for a second to grin. Rufus is a truly realized, highly complex main character, and his worst night ever made for a great day of reading (and night, though I was only able to finish as it got dark because my husband came home and kept me company as I stayed up to finish because THIS BOOK IS SPOOKY IN THE BEST WAY). 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Off Book: See All The Stars by Kit Frick

"We Were Liars meets 13 Reasons Why in this thrilling debut novel that sweeps readers away as they try to solve the mystery of what happened then to make Ellory so broken now."

You guys. This book consumed me. I read it in two days and can't stop thinking about it. From the first page I could tell it was masterfully written. Halfway through I wanted to tell teachers how great it would be for students to read. And once it was over I wanted to see it replace in the curriculum a certain ancient tired book that we already hated back in the 90s.

Reading this book is like watching a terrible impact, a ship inevitably hitting an iceberg, and the girls' collision contains all the iciness and destruction of such an event. You want to scream at the characters, each fully realized, to avoid the mistakes they are heading towards, and then you just have to watch, have to turn another page to see it all play out.

It's a powerful book, but it's not all bleak. The puzzle of how Ellory attempts to put her life back together is just as compelling as how these four girls went from a tight orbit to scattered apart. And Kit Frick deserves a standing ovation for pulling it all off.