You Owe Me a Murder

368p. HMH. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781328519023.
Gr 8 Up—When 17-year-old Kim is forced to go on a school trip to London with her ex-boyfriend Connor and his new girlfriend, she seethes. The idea of having to spend months touring around with them is enough to make her want to kill someone. Of course, she would never actually consider that, despite how callously Connor recently ended things. While waiting at the airport for their delayed flight to board, Kim meets Nicki—British, daring, and sophisticated. On the plane ride, Nicki listens to Kim vent about her ex and shares her own troubles with a controlling, alcoholic mother she wishes would disappear. Nicki even jokes that she could kill Connor, in exchange for Kim killing her mother. But when Connor is killed by a train a few days later, Kim wonders if it was an accident or if Nicki could have been serious. This contemporary thriller will draw young readers in immediately, as they try to figure out what really happened. The pacing keeps the narrative moving along while leaving room for suspense. The ending, while perhaps too tidily wrapped up, is unexpected.
VERDICT This solid thriller will appeal to fans of E. Lockhart's books and Karen M. McManus's One of Us Is Lying.

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