GIRL DEFECTIVE by Simmone Howell

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Sky isn’t sure whether she has a crush on Nancy, or just wants to be Nancy. Nancy’s carefree, rebellious life seems so exciting, scary, and unattainable to Sky, who has spent most of her life working in her dad’s record store with very little adventure.  Since her mother left the family to become a performance artist in Japan, Sky has felt somewhat responsible for caring for her father, who drinks too much, and her brother, whose disability often makes him a target for bullies.  But when Sky learns that the new kid her father hired is the brother of a girl who famously committed suicide a few months earlier, Sky begins investigating the death of Mia Casey, hoping to learn something about the meaning of her own life in the process.

There is a thread of suspense and mystery in this complicated realistic fiction novel. The story is very engaging, but more of a character study than a true mystery. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy character-driven realistic fiction.

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