Also by this author: The Toymaker's Apprentice
Published by Penguin on September 13th 2016
Genres: City & Town Life, Friendship, JUVENILE FICTION, Lifestyles, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
"Beautiful clothes, bad habits, ugly secrets: Sherri L. Smith probes the vulnerable underbellies of a lot of toothy sharks in this page-turning California noir."--E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses. When Jude's best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay. Now everyone is a suspect--family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that's the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude's got a few skeletons of her own. In a homage to the great noir stories of Los Angeles, award-winning author Sherri L. Smith's Pasadena is a tale of love, damage and salvation set against the backdrop of California's City of Roses.
Hi everyone! Welcome to my stop on the PASADENA blog tour!
Prior to starting Pasadena, people had been comparing it to Veronica Mars, and I absolutely agree. If you love the noir, dirty underbelly side to mystery shows, Pasadena is exactly what you need. The story opens with Maggie’s death which the authorities rule a suicide, but which her best friend, Jude, rules a murder. As Jude lines up the potential suspects behind the complex person that was her closest friend, she grapples with her own history of sexual assault and family conflict.
I love the characters in Pasadena. They are nuanced, and all have a potential motive for wanting Maggie gone. The cast is also beautifully diverse. Jude’s friend, Joey, is one of my favorite characters with his sweet, quiet charm and loyalty. However, Jude’s tough attitude and hard-hitting grief also makes her stand out as a phenomenally written character.
While I am blown away by the characters, the mystery plot fell a little flat for me. I thought the first third or so created a compelling case with a variety of sneaky suspects, but the build up slowed after a while, and the ending twist was a little disappointing.
This quick, engaging story takes readers to the dark side of a town called Pasadena where friendships might be as thick as blood but often lack honesty.
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