Review Detail

Kids Fiction 264
Unexpected Thriller
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Roisin has moved from Dublin, Ireland to the Boston area with her mother and older brother Michael. Her mother works long hours designing Artificial Intelligence programs like Jeeves, an all-knowing super assistant like Alexa, but better. Roisin (pronounced ROW-sheen) has struggled with being in the US because the school mean girl, Zara, has it in for her. This is most likely because Roisin's mother's boss is Lily's mother, and Lily had been understandably welcoming and nice at first. Since she was Zara's best friend, Zara starts to post mean things about Roisin on social media, and even goes as far as buying a bag of clothing at the Goodwill to taunt her, since Roisin wore uniforms in Ireland and hasn't quite adjusted to the US style of school clothes yet. An avid swimmer back home, Roisin gets the train to a pool in neighboring Lowell, but loses her wallet on the way. In order to make money to get back home, she takes part in a focus group about social media use at a university. The grad student who tests her, Jors, also asks her to enroll in phase two, and says that she will get more money. She agrees, and he installs tracking software on her phone. Things do not get better with Zara, but Roisin does make an online friend, Haley, who helps her through the worst parts. She also reconnects with Lily, who really is very nice, and the girls do get along. After a traumatic incident on a class field trip to the Isabella Gardner Museum that ends with Zara getting hurt, a trip to Old Orchard Beach with Lily's family is a welcome diversion, especially since that's where Haley lives! Roisin arranges to meet Haley at her middle school dance, and tries to sneak away. Lily catches her, and it's a good thing. Roisin meets a local boy, Jason, who tries to help her locate Haley, but no one has ever heard of her. What part did Haley have in Zara's accident? And is Roisin in more danger than she realizes?
Good Points
My goodness! I did NOT see the direction this was taking at all! I don't want to spoil the surprises in this one, which makes it a little hard to review. The moving to a new country and trying to fit in was appealing, but my favorite part was probably the two older brothers. More middle grade books should include siblings. The mean girl bullying will appeal to students, and there are some good riffs on the lessons that librarians and teachers everywhere give about social media. There's a nice sense of place both in Boston and in Old Orchard Beach. The artificial intelligence, which includes not only Jeeves but an animatronic cat, is intriguing, and more important than I suspected.

This was a fantastic mystery book with some awesome twists and turns. My only problem was that I was expecting more of a tween friend drama book (I think it was the chipped nail polish on the girl's nails on the cover!), so there was a bit of a cognitive disconnect. I really liked this one and will definitely purchase. Readers who enjoyed April Henry's work, or books like McNamee's Acceleration of Ferguson's Angel of Death (oldies but goodies) will enjoy this deceptively dark thriller!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an...
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From beloved children's author and illustrator Tony Ross, comes a...
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to...
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for...
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a talented young singer...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface,...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every summer, they say goodbye. Dorit goes to Tel Aviv...
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fight like a magical girl in this paperback original contemporary...

Latest Member Reviews

Golden Curse (The True Story of Rapunzel)
 
5.0
"This beautiful story is highly enjoyable. The writing flows easily, and the characters feel relatable. The main conflict was interesting..."
The Raven and the Dove
 
4.0
"An intriguing tale of forbidden love as two young lovers fight to stay together. Well written and entertaining. ..."
The Devil's Apprentice
 
4.5
"This was actually a pretty interesting story. At first I really wasn't sure how it was going to go so..."
A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ROSES is an intriguing YA historical fantasy based on a Portuguese legend. The book tackles themes of..."
Speechless
 
4.7
"this story is amazing! i have a project for honors english 10, and this is a great story to chose..."
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
"I DON'T WANT TO WASH MY HANDS is a picture book about the need for frequent hand washing. The little..."
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
"DANCE LIKE A LEAF is a beautiful book about grief and loss of a loved one. A young girl loves..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"THE BITTERWINE OATH is a YA fantasy and light horror read. Nat is the descendent of the girl who put..."
Heart Sister
 
4.8
"The story: When Emmitt’s twin sister Minnie dies in a tragic accident, it cripples not only him..."
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
"INCREDIBLE ANIMALS is a fascinating collection of animals by special skills, including clever camouflage, devoted parents (such as penguins), and..."
Special Delivery
 
4.0
"SPECIAL DELIVERY is a delightfully silly picture book. A little duck is eagerly awaiting the delivery of her baby brother...."
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
"EYELIKE STICKERS: TRAINS is an unbelievably cool collection of stickers. These 400 stickers include many photographs of trains, as well..."
 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.0
"When Ellie is completely humiliated by her best friend an crush, she decides the best way to escape her jeering..."
Mastery of Earth (Legends of the Tri-Gard Book 3)
 
5.0
"Oh the feels this book gave me. Davi's officially back but still not really? His memories are all over the..."