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Young Adult Fiction 362
enthralling YA historical murder mystery
(Updated: March 09, 2023)
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STATELESS is an enthralling YA historical murder mystery. Taking place in Europe before WWII, the story follows Stella North, a pilot who has entered into a European air race for young people, where she is the only female competitor. As she faces the press and her fierce competition, she soon realizes something sinister is happening in the race, when she sees one of her fellow pilots attacked in the air and go down in the water. As the race continues, she and her fellow competitor from France begin to investigate who could be behind the sabotage.

What I loved: This was quite an enthralling read with an engaging murder mystery. The story takes on quite the suspenseful tone as the competition leaves the young pilots in the crosshairs of whoever is behind the sabotage and attacks. The mystery is hard to solve with a good red herring that keeps the readers on their toes. The plot moves quite quickly as a result.

Stella is an intriguing character, and her background evolves into something deeper as the story continues. She is also a woman competing in something that is not particularly welcoming, although she is not the first pioneer in this field, mentioning women who competed in American races before, as well as a few others. She wants to prove to herself and the world that she has what it takes, though, of course, the prize for the race is certainly appealing as well.

The historical setting was really interesting, capturing Europe on the brink of war. As the competitors speak with each other, they learn about how the tensions are portrayed and felt by different countries, giving readers information about the climate at the time and the paths leading to WWII. Although the focus was on the race, these elements really added to the story well.

Final verdict: STATELESS is an enthralling YA historical murder mystery that takes the reader on a suspenseful ride through the air in Europe on the brink of WWII. Highly recommend for readers who enjoy historical reads, a fast pace, and a twisty mystery.
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