Tags: YA, mystery, eco-conspiracy
After several death-defying encounters in her search for the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, Delia Truesdale has a pretty good idea who might be behind the illegal Antarctica oil drilling plans. The problem is, she thinks it might be the father of her crush, golden boy Quinn. Along with her eccentric aunt Charley, a private investigator, her computer genius friend, and a few other quirky characters, Delia races to stop the bigwigs behind the conspiracy and to bring her mother home safe and sound.
AND THEN I FOUND OUT THE TRUTH is a satisfying conclusion to the wonderfully colorful mystery that began in AND THEN EVERYTHING UNRAVELED. While the plot may seem a little shaky and uneven at times, the character development is even stronger.
I had forgotten how funny Jennifer Sturman is in her first YA novel, but AND THEN I FOUND OUT THE TRUTH brought it all back for me. Delia narrates with an appreciable wryness that is 100% funny and 100% heartfelt. There is an eclectic cast of characters, but they never felt like stereotypes to me, the way some other stories with quirky characters and over-the-top humor might. You might not find these characters in real life, but they work exceedingly well in fiction for our entertainment.
In particular, I want to know how much more developed Quinn, Delia’s love interest, was in this sequel. My one minor issue with the first book was the flatness of his character, but in this book Quinn is a much more well-rounded character, with strengths, gallantry, problems, and vulnerabilities.
The plot of AND THEN I FOUND OUT THE TRUTH fell a little short in my opinion, though that may have been because my expectations were high for the sequel. A lot of the detective strategies from the first book came back here, and Delia was, I felt, unfortunately restricted in her sleuthing in a lot of ways that were frustrating. The ending was more Spy Kids-esque than Minority Report-worthy, which is charming in its happiness but otherwise rather simplistic.
Even so, any weaknesses this book might have did not detract from my immense enjoyment. Jennifer Sturman does a great job of writing memorable three-dimensional characters into a complicated plot. I hope she writes more YA in the future!
Carolyn Mackler (Tangled)
Lauren Mechling (Dream Life)
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Cover discussion: 4 out of 5 - Personally, I like its colors, its whimsicality. I like how you don't really know what to expect with this book. Only that it's going to be fun and a little surreal.
Scholastic / July 1, 2010 / Hardcover / 272pp. / $16.99
Received for review from TK Public Relations.
TK Public Relations was gracious enough to offer a paperback of the first book in this series, And Then Everything Unraveled, along with a hardback of And Then I Found Out the Truth, to one lucky winner! To enter, fill out the form below, making sure to answer the entry question relevantly. US only, and ends Friday, July 23, 2010. Good luck!