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The Amazing World of Gumball Vol. 1: Fairy Tale Trouble by Ben Bocquelet
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Curse of the Arctic Star by Carolyn Keene
Demon Book 1 by Jason Shiga
The Dragon That Lived Under Manhattan by E.W. Hildick
The Drowning Spool by Monica Ferris
Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe
Ghostbusters International by Erik Burnham
Graveyard Slot by Michelle Schusterman
Hip Hop Family Tree Book 4: 1984-1985 by Ed Piskor
How to Avoid Extinction by Paul Acampora
Imagine a World by Rob Gonsalves
It's a Tiger by David La Rochelle
Just Like Me by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown
The Lost Compass by Joel N. Ross
The Magic Mirror by Susan Hill Long
The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin by Elinor Teele
Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Ottoline and the Purple Fox by Chris Riddell
Pouncing on Murder by Laurie Cass
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
The Soprano's Last Song by Irene Adler
Stealing the Game by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld
The Underdogs by Sara Hammel

Miscellaneous
November reading and looking towards the last month
Reading goals for 2017

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Underdogs: 11/12/16

The Underdogs by Sara Hammel

The Underdogs by Sara Hammel is at first glance a middle grade murder mystery told from the perspective of a bystander named Chelsea. It begins with the discovery of Annabel Harper floating in the pool at a country club.

It's clear pretty early on that Chelsea, though headstrong and opinionated, is an unreliable narrator. After the initial chapter, every subsequent chapter is either BEFORE or AFTER. Those chapter titles are another big clue to what's going on.

As the book progresses it becomes clear that the who killed Annabel isn't the payoff for this book. The twist, the one that no one will tell you in their reviews, is who is narrating the story. For anyone who doesn't get it — even through the end will have their question answered in an epilog.

The problem here is that the twist isn't much of a twist to anyone who reads enough cozies. There's a whole sub-genre dedicated to this type of twist. For the intended audience, though, the twist is probably more revolutionary.

Two stars

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