YA Mystery Delves Into The Dark World of Sex Trafficking

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YA Mystery Delves Into The Dark World of Sex Trafficking

The Forgetting is a YA mystery that longs to push its readers into seeing their own lives, and the lives of the unacknowledged people around them, in a new light. Does it succeed? I’m not sure. The prerequisite romance sort of takes it down a level, but a writer’s gotta do what it takes to being in the readers, I guess. This is a book for fans of dark YA contemporary mystery.

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Georgie’s new heart came with a few extras — she is remembering things from the life of another girl — a girl who lived a grim existence and experienced a lonely death. Determined to hold on to herself, Georgie seeks out the answers to the mystery of the Jane Doe whose death gave her a second chance at life. This book had a rough start — I was convinced it was going to be a silly mystery based on the first few chapters. Then, it got real — sex trafficking, failing foster system, entitled blinders. This was a dark look at what goes on just around the corner from your white picket fence. It was also about evaluating what you want to do about it, once the lace curtain has been pulled back. Georgie grows a lot as a character, and though her dumb risks are too often rewarded (setting a terrible example for budding do-gooders), she does a fair job of conveying key themes without making readers feel judged. There is a little too much of the hooker with the heart of gold in a couple of the characters, and the bad guys are also lacking nuances that would make them feel real. This is problematic because the theme plays on the idea that bad things are happening in plain sight to people like you and me. That is not supported when almost every villain is quickly identifiable by their attitude or appearance. Luckily, there are enough suspected bad guys to sustain the mystery until the reveal. I think my high school students will find the mystery compelling if they stick it out past the first few chapters. The topic is certainly one that they need to know more about, and while it is a mature and controversial topic, this book avoids graphic content and sensationalized scenes that would steer parents and librarians away. Both language and situations make The Forgetting appropriate for mature high school readers.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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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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