Did you know a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer wrote a YA mystery? I’m Glad I Did is a sweet little hit.

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Did you know a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer wrote a YA mystery?  <em>I’m Glad I Did</em> is a sweet little hit.

You would be hard pressed to find a cleaner read on the YA shelves these days, but what I’m Glad I Did lacks in edge, it makes up for in engagement. The author is Cynthia Weil (you would recognize the songs she wrote), and I think she brings a real insider’s experience to this book. Carole King is the blurb on the front!

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I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Sixteen year old JJ wants to be a songwriter in 1960’s New York, but comes from a family of lawyers who think the music business is bad business. When she lands a 3 month contract as a writer and assistant at a music company, she makes a deal with her mom and embarks on the beginning of everything she ever wanted until murder gets in the way. This was a nice, clean YA mystery with lots of interesting complications and characters. It is a book about family, secrets, and lies. I loved the setting and the way that the author incorporated the civil rights movement gently into a story about the musical world where race had already begun to be moot. It was an easy and fast read, and had a little of everything — romance, mystery, history. Themes of finding your voice, learning to forgive, and reaching for your dreams add a nice depth. My only reservation is the lack of edge — I kept waiting for the moment when the protagonist would experience real danger, and it just didn’t materialize. The language and situations are completely appropriate for all ages. There are always students looking for a book that is not “dark,” and that can be hard to find in the YA stacks these days.

This book is available in the MHS library.

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About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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