WHAT’S PLAYING: Rihanna “Cheers (Drink to That)”
This week’s book is My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid.
Chanti Evans is not looking forward to starting school in the fall. While all of her friends will be together at North High, she’ll be stuck at Langdon Prep—a private school for the insanely rich—as one of three scholarship students. Chanti’s used to flying under the radar and keeping secrets. Her mother, Lana, is a vice cop, and in a neighborhood where cops are considered only one step above cockroaches, it’s safer to keep her mother’s real occupation under wraps. When a rash of thefts hit Langdon Prep, the new kids catch the blame. Chanti didn’t do it, and she knows the other two scholarship students didn’t either. Then the thefts get bigger and Chanti figures the only way to prove her innocence is to find the real thief herself.
Chanti is a likable and compelling character. Like Nancy Drew for the next generation, she is smart, smooth, and sassy, a sleuth with style and snap. She has a great sense of humor and enough flaws and doubts to keep her relatable. I couldn’t help but like her.
The other characters aren’t quite as well-developed. Some of them are even a bit stereotypical, from the rich mean girl and snobby headmistress to the drug-addled jock. Also, the frequent flashbacks threw me off.
Still, this was a fun little mystery, well paced and full of surprises. Reid does a superb job describing the environment, and Chanti’s smart and sassy voice will keep me coming back for more.
Favorite Line/Image: I keep it to myself because that’s one of the things I do well, hold on to other people’s business. You never know when you might need it.
Information is negotiable, like currency.
Bottom Line: This clever mystery with a biting look at class and privilege is a breath of fresh air and a great work of urban fiction that will undoubtedly appeal to mystery fans.