The Perfect Candidate

Peter Stone. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2217-9
Cameron Carter, a recent high school graduate from Lagrima, Calif., is starting his dream job as a summer intern for his local congressman. Though younger than the other interns, Cameron quickly catches the eye of Ariel Lancaster, a staff member and intern coordinator who begins to mentor him. When Ariel asks for Cameron’s help with a special project, he feels destined for greatness. But then Ariel is killed in what seems to be a drunk driving accident, and after someone who could be FBI approaches Cameron, he realizes that he may not be ready for a conspiracy-laden Washington, D.C., life. Debut novelist Stone, a former Capitol Hill staffer, imbues this political thriller with an insider’s peek into the lives of Washington’s interns, from scenes of reception-jumping for the free food to a list of the “50 hottest staffers on Capitol Hill.” This authenticity grounds the story, allowing readers to suspend disbelief that an 18-year-old intern could so quickly end up working as a spy. Stone has created a YA version of the TV show Scandal, and it is just as addictive. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rachel Kim and Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/03/2018
Release date: 10/02/2018
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