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September '16 Books, Part 4 of 4

Almost done with September ... just in time for the end of October.

First, a note on a book that I did not finish: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. I've said it many times, but I will repeat myself just for the heck of it. I like police procedurals. That's my mystery genre of choice. I read cozies ever now and then. I also read literary mysteries. I don't enjoy thrillers or mysteries solved by people who aren't detectives (there are a few exceptions). However, I read a lot of book reviews and sometimes getting a little caught up in the hype. All the Missing Girls sounded intriguing. I especially loved the part that most of the book is told backward (so, say chapter 2 is about September 15, chapter 3 is about September 14). But I couldn't get past the idea that this book was about rural white woman making really bad choices and doing really stupid things. It's a genre all to its own, I find. I'm not even curious about what happened. On to better books...

The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter
Ah. I love a good teen book I can recommend to young readers. It's nearly time for graduation and for three teens to get the heck out of their small town. But they each have demons to face. I wish this book had avoided a "manic pixie dream girl" character. It would have been perfect. Still, the problems the kids face seem real and the angst level is kept to a normal minimal.

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
Oops. Breaking my own rule with this one. The detective isn't a detective, but rather a newspaper reporter. Journalists and teenagers solving mysteries are two of my exceptions. Anyway, you won't guess the ending of this book. When the body of a newborn girl is found in an idyllic New Jersey town, the newspaper reporter, who is still grieving the loss of her stillborn child, takes the case. New reporter Maggie does a lot of digging and in the end finds out more than she ever suspected. Book probably could have used another edit to smooth out some rough spots, but overall I liked it.

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
This children's book is a small gem. Three preteen girls meet while taking baton twirling lessons, each having their own reasons to win (or not win) a contest. In the end, though, it's their friendship that helps them make sense of their worlds -- and all the sadness and happiness those worlds contain. Another book I'd recommend to kids if I still worked in a youth services department.


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