One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus tells the story of how deadly a rumor could end up. It started with an after school detention. Five kids walked in. Addy, Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper, and Simon all have detention. They don’t usually hang out, so they don’t talk very much. Simon has a gossip app called About That. He posts rumors about kids at the school on the app regularly. Simon gets up to get a glass of water and as soon as he finishes the water he starts having an allergic reaction and dies.

The main belief that the police had was that someone had poisoned Simon because of a rumor posted on the app. The police assume it was one of the four in detention with Simon. In the police investigation, they find peanut oil in the water. Now the four have to do their own detective work to find out who really killed Simon. At the time of Simon’s allergic reaction, the nurse had no EpiPens, and an EpiPen was later found in Nate’s locker. The police then took Nate to have him questioned. Bronwyn hears about this and realizes that their lockers were searched the morning of Simon’s death so somebody must have put the EpiPen there to frame Nate.

The three students keep looking for clues, and their search leads them to one of Simon’s only friends, Janae Vargas. They continually ask Janae if she knows anything until she finally tells them who killed Simon. She tells them that somebody made a plan to kill Simon by putting peanut oil in the water and that the person was…(spoiler warning! highlight text to read!)Simon himself. Simon planned every detail like hiding the nurse’s EpiPens and hiding one in Nate’s locker. Simon’s apparent motive was that everyone in the detention class had been rude to him so he decided to try and frame them

-Emilio V.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive. 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None is a great book written by Agatha Christie. She was known as one of the greatest writers of her time. She is also called the Queen of Mystery.

The book is about ten people who have done bad things in there life and are killed one by one because of the bad deeds. The murderer is following a nursery rhyme that explains how he or she will kill all the victims.

The author adds a big element of suspense into the book. It even adds the best setting for this all to happen: a creepy old mansion on a island. This read is differently then any murder mystery you have ever read.

Just at the end of every Agatha Christie book the murderer is a big shocker. She always adds the person that had nothing to do with it actually kill the victim. In this novel especially there are many red herrings. Sometimes they are meant to throw you off but either way it is awesome that they are in murder mystery novels.

My favorite part of the book is the whole nursery rhyme scheme. It is a great way for the author to incorporate the suspense in the book. I mean how creepy is it that your killing people based on a nursery rhyme? There is also a mini series based off this book. I haven’t watched it yet but I while and I hope it is really good.

Another thing about murder mysterious is that people who seem one way may die in a way that is surprising because the is the opposite of how he or she is behaving. For example if someone died from suicide and that person is having the time of your life.

That is just one of the thought turning things that Agatha Christie does in her novels. It’s like you think one thing and then he or she dies then it just goes on and on until the murderer is found.

Max U.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston

This was one of the best books I read. As always I enjoyed Natasha Preston’s book yet again; it was almost better than “The Cellar.” This book started with a scene of pure terror when all of a sudden two dorm mates get a letter signed to Sonny, one of their roommates. Included in the letter is a note that says “Your heart will be mine”, not only is it almost Valentines Day, but the note has no address stating who it came from. Not worrying too much about the note, Layla, Issac, Sienna, Charlotte, Chace, and Sonny go to a party to enjoy their break from college. Following their arrival at the party, they are accompanied with free drinks that were already paid for, but by who? Following the next day, Layla is startled to realize that Sonny never came home from the party, he is one to come home late, but with the startled advancement of the note, her roommates are questioning whether somebody killed him.

This book has the perfect amount of suspense, mystery, and action. This would definitely be a book I would recommend.

-Rylie N.

You WIll Be Mine by Natasha Preston is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

The Stranger by Albert Camus

If you were to see Monsieur Meursault walking down the street, he would appear to be an ordinary young man. He shows up to work every day, doesn’t disrespect any of his coworkers, and is on good terms with all of his neighbors. Unless you were to actually meet him, you would never realize that he was a bit different.

When people ask him things, he doesn’t ever seem to have a definite answer- it almost seems as if nothing really matters to him. Because of this, people will sometimes become annoyed at him. They want clear answers, and Monsieur Meursault won’t give them that. However, no one really questions him and his lack of feelings until the death of his mother (Maman, he calls her). He had sent her off to a home for the elderly because he was no longer able to support her. Now she has died, and to Monsieur Meursault, it doesn’t really feel as if anything has changed – everyone around him is grieving more than the woman’s own son. People question him: Why doesn’t he seem to be in mourning? Why has he not shed a single tear?

It’s not until after a horrific event takes place that Meursault’s actions (or lack thereof) begin to affect him. Meursault probably never would have expected this to happen, and neither would any of his friends and acquaintances, but it did, and now he must face the consequences.

Originally written in French by Albert Camus, this book has been beautifully translated to English by Matthew Ward. It’s written in an unusual style that I think is very fitting for the personality of Monsieur Meursault. Although it may not be filled with action and adventure, this is definitely an interesting read, and it gives us insight on how this strange man thinks. I also enjoyed learning a bit more about the French culture, as this is where the book takes place.

Despite the fact that this is a fairly short book, it took me a while to read it. I only read a little each day because it gave me so much to think about and the protagonist and his actions really intrigued me. This is the first book I’ve read wherein the main character thinks in such a strange way. I’m really glad that it’s written in the point of view of this man, else I wouldn’t have been able to understand him at all. This is a very unique book, written in the point of view of a very unusual protagonist, and although I probably wouldn’t read this book again, I don’t regret reading it and would definitely say that it gave me a lot to think about.

-Elina T.

The Stranger by Albert Camus is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

TV Review: Riverdale

This is one of those shows I probably never would have watched had everyone not been raving about it. Well, maybe not everyone was raving. 

Riverdale is based off of the Archie comics, which I had never heard of before, so unfortunately can’t really tell you whether the show holds true to the source material. 

Anyway, the show takes place in a town called Riverdale (hence the name) which was a perfectly normal place. But a boy’s body, Jason Blossom, has been discovered by the rivers’ edge. As the city’s police begin investigating the case, Riverdale’s less flattering qualities start to surface. The town isn’t as perfect as it had once appeared to be. 

The show follows a group of students: Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Jughead Jones, and some of their other friends. As the shows progresses, the students begin uncovering secrets that bring them closer to discovering who killed Jason Blossom. 

Thus far, there is only one season – the entirety of which I watched in two days, which is pretty impressive because I don’t typically binge watch shows like that. So I actually really liked it even though I didn’t think I would. I love Jughead of course, and the other characters are pretty cool as well. Riverdale is one of those shows where you have to watch the next episode, and the episode after that, and so on, because you always have to know what happens next. That’s how it was for me at least. 

I actually heard mixed reviews about the show before I watched it, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I really liked it and can’t wait for the next season! 

The one thing I didn’t really like about it though (and it’s really not that important, it’s like this for practically any show/movie that takes place in high school) was that the actors are all in their twenties and they’re supposed to be sophomores in high school. Like I said, most people probably wouldn’t even be bothered by this, but I just thought I’d mention it. 

All in all, I thought I it was a great show. I really enjoyed it, and if you’re thinking about watching it, I’d definitely say give it a go!

-Elina T.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Have you ever thought of having a special ability to find bodies? Well, the first book in the series called The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting is an intense mystery thriller about a 16 year old named Violet Ambrose. Violet and her best friend Jay Heaton are both juniors in high school and she has fallen for him. Jay knows about Violet’s special ability to find bodies and “echoes” ever since they were little. When Violet was a little girl, she had the ability to find and sense dead animals near her and also figure out who killed them. When she senses someone who killed someone she calls them echos, which are sounds or visions that grab her attention.

During the summer, Violet and Jay went to a party at the lake and she discovered a human body for the first time. Later on, she found more missing girls and she tracks down the murder with the help of  Jay. Jay and Violet’s family are both worried about Violet meeting the man who has been killing the missing girls and it’s very shocking and suspenseful. But, you have to read the book to find out what happens next.

I think this book was a good read because it was entertaining to read with the suspense and thriller plot. It is an interesting book and I liked how the book involves solving a mystery with a character with special abilities and a bit romance included. Also, I liked how the chapters included the serial killers point of view. I recommend this book for teens who like mystery books and wants a good book that’s entertaining. The next book in this series is called Desires of the Dead and you can find out what happens next.

The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

andthentherewerenone_agathachristieWarning: This review contains spoilers

Ten strangers, with seemingly little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. A coincidence? Not at all. Ten people, who have never met before until this accident, are under a perilous set of conditions. On the first night, the ten strangers are invited to dinner. They are Lawrence Wargrave, the judge; Vera Claythorne, the schoolmistress; Philip Lombard, the expeditioner; Emily Brent, the housewife; Anthony Marston, a wealthy man with a fabulous car; Edward George Armstrong, the doctor; William Henry Blore, a retired detective; Thomas Rogers, the butler; Ethel Rogers, wife of Rogers; and John Gordon MacArthur, an old general in World War I.

After enjoying their delicious dinner, they are shocked when a loud voice booms throughout the dining room, accusing each of them in turn of hiding a guilty secret. By the end of the night, Anthony Marston is dead, due to choking on his drink, a deadly touch of cyanide in his glass. Badly shaken, the nine remaining people turn in for the night. In each of their bedrooms, there is a nursery rhyme going by “The Ten Little Indian Boys.” Again, is this a coincidence?

However…one by one they begin to fall dead.

The next death was Mrs. Roger’s. She’d fainted when the voice had announced their crimes over the gramophone, and the next morning she was found dead. Closely next was General MacArthur, who had wanted to stay on the island, but instead was found dead on the beach, knocked out from behind. Slowly, the remaining seven people start to get wary of each other. Soon, they realize that killer has to be one of them…

But pretty soon, suspects are eliminated, as Mr. Rogers, Emily Brent, and Justice Wargrave were found dead next. Only Vera Claythorne, Philip Lombard, Edward George Armstrong, and William Henry Blore are left on the island. Which among them is the murderer?

Dr. Armstrong is quickly out of the picture, as he is found choked and bloated next to the crashing waves. Now there are only three survivors, but is cut down to two the next day: Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard. Blore was crushed by a large marble bear, which had fallen on his head. Soon after, Philip and Vera get into a fight on the beach, in which Vera grabs Philip’s gun and shoots him. Overcome with guilt, Vera is all alone on the island. Finally, the guilt washes over her, and she hangs herself in the large mansion. Everyone was dead.

But not quite.

Consider the nursery rhyme “Ten Little Indian Boys”:

Ten little Soldier Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Soldier Boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Soldier Boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Soldier Boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Soldier Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little Soldier Boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself;
And then there were none.

I thought this books was really interesting because each death was related to one in the poem. For instance, the first line has to do with the dinner and Anthony Marston’s death. Also, Soldier Island and Soldier Boys? That was fascinating. But I thought Agatha did superbly in writing this murder mystery because she didn’t leak any clues about who the murderer was and it is truly baffling when the story ends when all the people are dead. You are left with the feeling of, “Wait, what? Who is the murderer exactly?”

But that’s not all, actually! Agatha Christie gave me the pleasure to actually read the epilogue, which fully explained the murder and who the murderer was, who was actually (highlight to reveal spoiler)the judge, Wargrave! It told me that Wargrave was psychotic, and had a imaginative imagination and had always wanted to plan a murder. He faked his own death in the beginning, but then after Vera hanged herself, he shot himself. The whole point of this was to make this a murder case that no one could ever solve.

And so he did. And then there were none.

-Katharine L.

And Then There Were None is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download from Overdrive.