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YA Review: Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Title: Promise Boys
Author: Nick Brooks
Year published: 2023
Category: YA fiction (mystery)
Pages: 304 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)US (Washington, DC)

SummaryThe prestigious Urban Promise Prep school might look pristine on the outside, but deadly secrets lurk within. When the principal ends up murdered on school premises and the cops come sniffing around, a trio of students―J.B., Ramón, and Trey―emerge as the prime suspects. They had the means, they had the motive―and they may have had the murder weapon. But with all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. Or is the true culprit hiding among them?

Review: A friend recommended this book to me and I saw it displayed at my local indie bookshop and just couldn't stop myself from getting a copy (I know, I know, I have a book-buying problem).

I read this novel on flights from Santa Barbara to Dallas to Mexico City earlier today and finished it just before we landed in Mexico. Yes, I left the book out in public for some lucky reader. Reading this book made my flights go so quickly!

Yes this book is about who murdered the school's principal, but it is also so much more. It's about education, how we treat teachers and students, discipline, humanity, and particularly how we assume "certain students" are troublemakers. The author has been a teacher so knows what he is writing about, which is why this novel is so well done.

I wasn't sure who the murderer was until it was revealed and I enjoyed the process the student group followed to figure out what was going on: they had to put aside their own assumptions and stereotypes in order to work together and solve the mystery. I also liked that the characters were multidimensional and surprised me along the way.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet (Title)--P

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