Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Young Adult
Series: Erin Blake #2
Publisher: Tor Teen (February 27, 2018)
Length: 320 pages
My Rating: 3 stars
If you like quick reading murder mysteries, To Right the Wrongs is a great book to pick up and enjoy on a nice rainy day. The title character, Erin Blake, is a smart, modern day detective who has a habit of getting mixed up in CSI-like cold cases. Her friends, Lysa and Spam, always along for the ride, as these precocious teens find a lot more to occupy their time than keeping a streak alive on social media.
Picking up shortly after the events of the first book (To Catch a Killer), Erin is trying to readjust to life after she gained local fame last time out. Not only did she catching the killer of her mother and teacher, but she brought loads of attention to herself when all she has ever wanted to do was blend in. Sure, there were some good things that had come out of everything like her new boyfriend Journey actually noticing her, but other than that she wishes she could just flip a switch and finish the last few weeks of her sophomore year of high school like nothing out-of-the-ordinary has happened.
Things aren’t that simple for Erin though. While she tries to focus on her summer forensic class, mysteries keep coming her way. From a new principal who is seriously crazy to Spam’s boyfriend acting strange to the girls’ digging up information to help Journey build a case to get his dad out of prison, Erin and her friends find themselves drawn into one dramatic twist after another.
Going into this read, all I was seeking was a fun murder mystery. The fact that the characters here were all young adults in high school gave me a bit of a pause, since I’m not in that age category anymore, but Sheryl Scarborough’s writing made me feel right at home among these teens, able to thoroughly enjoy the sleuthing and snooping. Plus, this is a fast-paced, quick narrative, one any avid reader will find easy to get sucked into.
The element I enjoy most about the book was the camaraderie between the characters. Erin, Lysa, and Spam are good friends, and it shows. They play off one another well, work great together, and find time to laugh, act like the teens they are. Sure, there are moments when the YA quotient gets a bit too high, but it always comes back down, as the detective business shifts to the forefront of the story.
My main criticism of the story would be Journey. Now, I didn’t read book one, so maybe he had more of an impact there, but here he seems a fairly throwaway character. Yes, his mission to clear his dad is what drives a lot of the narrative, but mostly he shows up in the story to alternate between making Erin feel uncomfortable (as shown by her constant blushing or giggling when he is around) or annoying the hell out of her. Like I said, this guy seemed really underappreciated.
Overall, To Right the Wrongs was a fun, fast-paced novel which did a great job mixing adventure with mystery and with teen friendship. I won’t go so far as to say it is the best YA mystery I’ve ever read, but it was really enjoyable and surprised me by how easy it was to slip into even though I hadn’t read book one of the series.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.