Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Running Girl by Simon Mason review by Isabella

Running Girl is a high stakes mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. Garvie Smith is a math genius that thrives in laziness. He is an utter contradiction: the student with the highest IQ at school, but also the one with the worst grades. However, when his ex-girlfriend is found murdered in a local pond, his laziness is brought to a screeching halt. He embarks on a quest to find out the truth and bring her murderer to justice. However, this is much easier said than done, because even the police are grasping at straws.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book because it provided a unique take on the typical murder mystery infused with a diverse cast of characters. The plot includes several twists, which made it very difficult to predict the outcome until the very end. I think that this is one of the novel’s greatest strengths because young adult mysteries often struggle to maintain an intriguing plot line. Furthermore, this novel includes a wide variety of characters, which add a new flavor to the mystery genre. I particularly enjoyed how the author introduced Sikhism to the reader in a way that inspires curiosity and a desire to learn more about Inspector Singh’s culture. Today, this is particularly important in literature due to the increasing hostile and uninformed prejudices people hold against those they struggle to understand. Finally, I enjoyed the imperfection of the main character and that the mystery was not easily resolved, but rather due to the persistence of Garvie. His use of mathematics to propel the plot line further, might even inspire some mathphobes to look at math in a slightly more positive light.

I would recommend this book definitely to high school students who enjoy mysteries/thrillers, as well as those who have a desire to try something new. I enjoyed the book overall very much and think that it would be a wonderful addition to any school or classroom library. One thing to consider is that this book does deal with murder, illicit drug use, under-age drinking, and child pornography (alluded, not explicit).