The Arsonist

The Arsonist

Book - 2017
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Molly Mavity and Pepper Yusef are dealing with their own personal tragedies when they are tasked by an anonymous person with solving the decades-old murder of Ava Dryman, an East German teenager whose diary was published after her death.
Publisher: New York, NY : Dial Books, [2017].
ISBN: 9780147510174
Characteristics: 493 pages ; 22 cm.


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2018 Washington State Book Award for Books for Young Adult Readers (ages 13 and up) winner

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Jun 30, 2018

Stephanie Oakes has written an awfully complicated tale with a confusing plot line. After reading it I didn't feel satisfied that I knew what was taking place. Which as a reader left me feeling confused multiple times. The lead up to the conclusion felt rushed and almost that it had not covered everything it had set out to do. The solution was very intricate and had at least seven results, making it the biggest not-solution I’ve ever read. I do have to say when you get to the climax of the book is when things start to pick up and you begin to understand what exactly your reading. Then that's all ruined when you get to the end and not sure what actually happened. Setting all that aside, the characters were fun and enjoyable to read about. The author did a fabulous job of playing up the quirks and odd ends of their personalities. I had mixed emotion about this book and I think it is not a pleasure read because I had to focus too hard on it for it to be enjoyable. Though, the fun characters almost saved the day and so the rating is 3//5 starts. @Fanny_Shoir of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

It started off a little slow, but I’ve realized sometimes the best books I’ve ever read have started off slow. I found it very beautifully written and heartbreaking at times. Pepper and his pig were genuinely funny at times which is hard to find in YA novels. Another thing I love to see in books is letters and diary entries which were common throughout this one! Personally this is the perfect kind of book I look to for summer reading. Thoughtfully written with a sprinkle of mystery and history thrown in.
- @bookanarchy of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

This book is very captivating in many regards, with multi-layered characters who are never before seen, and a storyline that is fairly true to life and honest. Molly must deal with the reality of her father being a convicted murderer, while Pepper must deal with the fact that he is epileptic and potentially failing out of school. Their unlikely friendship leads them to uncover the case of Ava Dreyman, an East German Resistance fighter who was killed at seventeen. This fast-paced and suspenseful story brings you along for the ride as the two teens uncover the truth of the past as well as what their future holds. I would rate this book 5/5 stars and recommend it to those who love skillful writing and a fascinating plot that will teach you the meanings of both life and death.
- @The_Reviewer of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library


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