Friday, June 17, 2016

Small Bones by Vicki Grant (2015)

I got this copy of Small Bones by Vicki Grant (2015) through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program quite some time ago but, to be honest, kept putting off reading it since the cover looked so chick-lit-y. This, my friends, is another case of "don't judge a book by its cover," because instead of an insipid chick lit romance, what we have here is a compelling coming-of-age mystery with some great characters and a satisfying twist.

Dot grew up in an orphanage in Ontario -- she was left on the doorstep wrapped in a man's coat as a premature baby during WWII. She is happy enough at the orphanage until the place burns down and 17-year-old Dot is sent out into the world to make it on her own. It's 1964 and she heads to the resort town listed on the tailor's label of the coat she was found in. She gets a job as a seamstress at the resort, and doesn't tell anyone what she is doing there. Quickly befriended by a cute local boy, Dot learns about a local ghost story featuring a tiny baby that was found in the woods 17 years ago. She convinces Eddie, who writes for the local paper as a side gig, that they should investigate the story and see what really happened. As they get closer and closer to the truth, old wounds open up in the small town and Dot quickly feels in over her head.

The book is a page turner with nicely placed clues and good characterization. Dot in particular is a perfect young adult -- a mix of confident and awkward, she is extremely endearing. The final answer to the mystery of Dot's parents involves a twist that I didn't see coming until it was on me. The book moves to the twist logically and it ends up feeling satisfying and not like a trick on the reader.

If you are looking for something entertaining and just a little dark as a summer read for you or a young adult in your life, this is a good one.

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