STARRED REVIEW
July 2017

Tea leaves and life lines

By Emily Arsenault

For 16-year-old Marnie Wells, reading tea leaves is a party trick—a kooky hobby she picked up from an old book of her grandmother’s. And although Marnie doesn’t take her tea-leaf reading seriously, the kids at her high school sure do. Matt Cotrell, a popular athlete whose best friend, Andrea, disappeared last year, is particularly interested in Marnie’s hobby.

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For 16-year-old Marnie Wells, reading tea leaves is a party trick—a kooky hobby she picked up from an old book of her grandmother’s. And although Marnie doesn’t take her tea-leaf reading seriously, the kids at her high school sure do. Matt Cotrell, a popular athlete whose best friend, Andrea, disappeared last year, is particularly interested in Marnie’s hobby.

Matt begins to seek out the introverted Marnie for fortune telling, but is it really to help find Andrea? Marnie isn’t sure, even as she and Matt spend more time together. But anonymous emails, a missing drug dealer and suspicious circumstances at a party compound the mystery, placing Marnie in the center of it all.

Marnie is a cynical and perceptive character, but she struggles to fit in. Grappling with her sense of identity, Marnie longs to escape the rundown home she shares with her troubled brother and loving grandmother. And she’s unsure how to navigate her new romance with Matt—a boy she doesn’t wholly understand.

Emily Arsenault, known for weaving haunting tales in adult mysteries, brings her knack for subtle suspense to a younger audience in this rewarding YA debut.

 

Kimberly Giarratano is the author of Grunge Gods and Graveyards, a young adult paranormal mystery.

This article was originally published in the July 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Leaf Reader

The Leaf Reader

By Emily Arsenault
Soho Teen
ISBN 9781616957827

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