cover image The Good Girls

The Good Girls

Claire Eliza Bartlett. HarperTeen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-294310-1

Emma Baines is missing. A grainy Facebook video appears to show someone shoving the “ice-blond” 17-year-old off a bridge into a lethal stretch of river known as Anna’s Run. The Jefferson-Lorne, Colo., police department, headed by Emma’s overprotective father, is centering their investigation on three of her classmates: Avery Cross, the airheaded captain of Emma’s cheerleading squad; Claude Vanderly, a “loudmouth slut” and notorious troublemaker; and Gwen Sayer, an acerbic overachiever who is competing with Emma to win a full undergraduate scholarship. According to mysterious blogger Adams West, however, the cops’ focus is misplaced; Emma had a secret that likely got her killed, and he is determined to not only uncover that secret, but expose it to the world. Fantasy author Bartlett (The Winter Duke) takes on society’s toxic attitudes toward teenage girls in this dark and twisty #MeToo thriller. The writing is occasionally overwrought, and aspects of the plot strain credulity, but on the whole, Bartlett delivers an empowering tale populated with nuanced characters of sundry socioeconomic backgrounds and sexual orientations. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (Dec.) [/em]