Monday, January 2, 2012

The Girl Is Growing Up

Published: July 19th, 2011
The Girl Is Murder
By: Kathryn Miller Haines
Roaring Brook Press
ISBN-13: 9781596436091

Iris Anderson is only 15, but she's quickly mastering the art of deception in this YA novel for fans of Veronica Mars. It's the Fall of 1942 and Iris's world is rapidly changing. Her Pop is back from the war with a missing leg, limiting his ability to do the physically grueling part of his detective work. Iris is dying to help, especially when she discovers that one of Pop's cases involves a boy at her school. Now, instead of sitting at home watching Deanna Durbin movies, Iris is sneaking out of the house, double crossing her friends, and dancing at the Savoy till all hours of the night. There's certainly never a dull moment in the private eye business.


   Iris Anderson is still in shock from her Mother's sudden suicide less than six months ago.  Now she's living with her Pop in run-down neighborhood, going to public school.  She's been taken away from the Upper East Side, her private school and all the friends she's ever had.  Not to mention that Pop is barely scraping by as a private detective because he only has one leg after the disaster at Pearl Harbor, and he refuses to ask for help.  Iris is miserable in public school and starts creeping around trying to solve Pop's cases for him, even after he told her to stay out of it.  She begins to make friends in school with the 'Rainbows' a group of outcasts after she tells a white lie about her Pop.  Then Tom, one of the group, goes missing all of the sudden.  Iris' Pop takes on the case, but is getting further and further off the trail.  So she steps in, getting in closer to Tom's friends and staying out late into the night at Harlem clubs, rolling them for information.  The information leads back to Grace, her former friend at private school who had been secretly involved with Tom.  What really happened to Tom?  Was he murdered, did he run away or did someone make him 'disappear'?  By the time the book ends, you find out all of the answers to these questions.  I liked the start of this book and it had a very promising premise.  I do however, have a few complaints.  Iris was not a very strong heroine.  She came off as weak and clingy in some parts of the book.  Others she seemed like a stubborn brat.  That was okay though because she was very much a teenager.  That I could handle withough complaint.  It was the lackluster ending to the booklong mystery that truly irritated me to no end.  It might have been realistic, but it was not at all exciting and it made me feel like I'd wasted my time.  If you're in need of a girl detective fix, go watch Veronica Mars instead - you'll be much more satisfied. 

VERDICT:  3/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores and online.*

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