Author: Andrew Xia Fukuda
Genre: YA, mystery
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this from my school's library
Summary (from the back of the book): For freshman Xing Xu, life at Slackenkill High School is a daily exercise in futility. As one of only two Asian students at the otherwise all-white school, he exists on the fringes of adolescent society, counting the days until he's free. Only his best friend, fellow Chinese immigrant Naomi Lee, can comprehend Xing's loneliness and frustration. When a series of mysterious abductions rattles his adopted hometown, Xing's position on the outskirts of the community puts him at an advantage. local police are baffled by the crimes, but Xing, so easily ignored by those around him, sees and hears the things others do not. As he moves closer to unveiling the identity of the kidnapper, a surprise revelation from his past presents an opportunity to prove his worth to his classmates--and to the lovely Naomi--once and for all. Ultimately, Xing must choose between living his life in the shadows and revealing his true self to the world, leading to a chilling climax that will resonate long after the final page is turned.
Review: I read this book in one day! Granted I had woken up at 3:30am due to jet lag (we just arrive in London yesterday evening), but this book is a real page-turner! I immediately felt for Xing, the main character. He is different from most everyone around him in high school and is pretty much ignored and invisible, which is so not what we all want. Yes, he has his friend Naomi, but she is smart, beautiful, fun, and talented, sure to move on quickly up the social ranks of high school, leaving Xing behind.
Fukuda also does a wonderful job of weaving the mystery of who is killing the high school students with Xing's life both at home (with a single working mom, dad died many years earlier) and his days at school. One storyline does not overshadow the other, they each work together seamlessly to draw the reader to the climax of the book when all is revealed. I can't really say much more without ruining the story, but I do recommend you read this book!