As White as Snow.
By Salla Simukka. Tr. by Owen
2015. 196p. Amazon/Skyscape, paper, $9.99
(9781477820636). Gr. 10–12.
While vacationing in Prague, Lumikki is approached by a strange girl who has a strange
message. “I think I’m your sister,” she says,
and with that, Lumikki is thrown into another
high-stakes adventure that tests her emotional
and physical endurance to their limits. Is this
person, Lenka, truly Lumikki’s sister? When
Lumikki, aided by a young journalist named
Jiri, discovers that Lenka is involved with a
dangerous cult, it hardly matters. Lumikki
must find a way to save Lenka from the cult’s
terrible leader before Lenka is stolen from her
forever. There may be times in the story when
the plot veers toward cliché, but Lumikki’s
practical Finnish sensibilities, her formidable
physical prowess, and her generous heart enliven each new twist. Like As Red as Blood (2014),
this novel is translated from Finnish, allowing
the reader a glimpse into a genuinely European
mind-set. Highly recommended for libraries
looking to add to their mystery collection, as
well as those seeking a diversity of viewpoints
for teen readers. —Diane Colson
The Bullet Catch: Murder by
By Amy Axelrod and David Axelrod.
May 2015. 288p. Holiday, $17.95 (9780823428588);
e-book, $17.95 (9780823433780). Gr. 6–9.
It’s 1917 in New York, and 14-year-old Leo
is a pickpocket living in squalor with three
friends who are also thieves. But Leo, whose
true love is magic, is tired of the criminal life.
It’s a dream come true when he becomes an assistant to a professional magician, The Great
Barzini, who happens to be a friend of the
great escape artist Harry Houdini. Tutored by
Barzini, Leo quickly becomes invaluable when
the magician conjures up an elaborate and
dangerous magic trick involving a loaded gun.
Then a rival magician attempting to duplicate
the trick is accidentally killed on stage—or was
he murdered? The answer is elusive as Leo gets
caught up in the mystery and soon suspects
Barzini knows more about the case than he lets
on. The mother-and-son coauthors have writ-
ten a cleverly plotted historical mystery that
takes the reader inside the world of professional
magic. Though sometimes slowly paced, this
nevertheless holds the reader’s attention thanks
to period details and an engaging protagonist.
An inconclusive ending suggests the possibility
of a sequel. —Michael Cart
By Stephanie Kuehn.
June 2015. 240p. St. Martin’s/Griffin, $19.99
(9781250063847). Gr. 9–12.
Award-winning Kuehn is firing on all cylinders with her latest taut psychological thriller.
Booted from boarding school for nearly killing
a classmate, 17-year-old Sadie Su returns home
to her family’s Sonoma wine
estate, where she was childhood friends with Emerson
Tate, to finish out her education. Now a senior jock with
eyes on his crush, Emerson is
haunted by his father’s suicide and concerned about
his brother, Miles, whose
overly sickly nature makes him prone to bullying—and worse—at school. Kuehn effortlessly
switches between Sadie, Emerson, and Miles,
unspooling an intriguing entwined story that
dips backward and forward, rife with teasing
questions that gradually lay bare troubling secrets. Are Miles’ visions of the future genuine?
What really is the cause of his many medical
problems? Is Emerson hiding something? And
who’s really “good” anyway? Kuehn kicks it
into high gear when Miles disappears, leaving readers hard-pressed to put this one down
before reaching the heart-pounding conclusion. Like her previous YA novels, Kuehn’s
latest benefits from tight construction, expert
pacing, and voices that ring especially true for
contemporary teenagers, particularly Sadie’s
entrancing, gleefully acerbic tone. Intelligent,
compulsively readable literary fiction with a
dark twist. —Jennifer Barnes
The Devil You Know.
By Trish Doller.
June 2015. 304p. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (9781619634169).
Arcadia grew up fast when her mother died.
She cares for her younger brother, works at
the family grocery store, and fills in as the
head of the household when her dad just can’t
do it. Now she is 18, and the summer is call-
ing to her in the form of a campout with old
friends and a few very hot strangers, includ-
ing the cousins Noah and Matt, who are road
tripping in their late grandmother’s 1969 Cou-
gar. Cadie effortlessly pulls Noah into a heady
fling that gets deadly serious when they leave
town together. Cadie is strong, confident, se-
cure in her sexuality, and totally in control . . .
until she isn’t. The best weekend ever quickly
takes a 180. Mounting clues lead Cadie to
fear for her life and a growing uncertainty over
which of the dashing cousins to trust: charming
Matt or reformed bad-boy Noah. As the stakes
increase and the opportunities for escape deep
in the Everglades narrow, the Hitchcockian con-
clusion is swift and satisfying. —Heather Booth
The Edge of the Shadows.
By Elizabeth George.
May 2015. 464p. Viking, $18.99 (9780670012985). Gr. 8–12.
The third title in George’s Whidbey Island
series continues to introduce new characters
while further developing the multiple protagonists of the first two books. George, known
for her many best-selling adult mysteries, has
created a distinctive, tight community of teens
whose myriad secrets and hardships are realistic and compelling. New to the large cast of
characters are beautiful but irritating Isis and
her deadbeat skateboarding brother, Aidan,
from Palo Alto, who clearly have some heavy
emotional baggage. Meanwhile, Derric tells his
parents about his sister; from the African orphanage; Hayley begins to trust others enough
to seek help for her father and sister; and Becca
learns to expand her powers of hearing others’
thoughts. Concurrent with these revelations
are a series of fires that are clearly the work of
an arsonist, frightening the community. On
Whidbey Island, everyone has got a secret,
and those secrets intertwine in fascinating and
intricate ways. While this title needs the backstory of previous books to fully engage readers,
those who are already hooked on George’s clear
expository style and elegant construction will
find much to enjoy. —Debbie Carton
By M. G. Reyes.
May 2015. 400p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $17.99
(9780062288950). Gr. 8–10.
What teen hasn’t had this fantasy: glamorous