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Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia
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You Killed Wesley Payne

You Killed Wesley Payne - Sean Beaudoin A very quick review. Yes, there will be grammatical errors. My apologies.This was an odd read. I found it by turns quite good but then the writing style was so "trying to be noir" that it just kept popping me out of the world. There are some serious issues that are dealt with rather nicely, but the overall tone of the book didn't really grab me. Granted, I'm not a big noir mystery reader, but I found the concepts Beaudoin laid down to make high school a place where everyone had something to hide/something to sell just didn't really work for me. This may sound quite offensive, but his unique, modern take on high school sounded well...like perhaps the author was a bit too out of touch with modern high school to really nail this setting. He does come up with some witty turns of phrase, and as I mentioned, he deals with such issues as rough economic times, siblings going off to war, and the true horrors of clique-ishness rather well. It has some great moments and I did laugh out loud a few times. Overall, if you're a teen who likes mystery I would guess you could have some fun with this. If I can pick on one thing, it's something that has been bothering me in YA novels of late: the references to, and in jokes about, things that I, as a 35 year-old, understand but that no young adult would actually get. One example from this particular book, the author uses the phrase "pulling an INXS" (or something to that effect) to mean suicide by hanging. This is referencing the lead singer hanging himself and I highly doubt anyone under the age of 25 remembers it. If you're writing a book that has teen protagonists that is set in what is supposedly our current time, and you've decided you're going to try and reference pop culture, it's probably best to try and use pop culture references that are referencing events that are popular, you know, now?