The Arsonist

The Arsonist

eBook - 2017
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Code Name Verity meets I Am the Messenger in this riveting YA novel from Morris Award finalist Stephanie Oakes, in which three points of view are woven together in a story that's part Cold War mystery, part contemporary coming-of-age, and completely unputdownable. Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they'll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen. Pepper Al-Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school. And Ava Dreyman-the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall-is unlike anyone you've met before. When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they're tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava's diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there's more to her life-and death-than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers.
Publisher: [New York] : 2017. Dial Books,
ISBN: 9781101633724
Branch Call Number: REM
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Bolinda Digital BorrowBox

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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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