How We Fall Apart

Katie Zhao. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0397-8
In this YA debut by Zhao (the Dragon Warrior series), Sinclair Prep, a private “elite high school that ranked number one in every area imaginable” on New York City’s Upper West Side, is home to myriad sins. Domineering Chinese American junior class president Jamie Ruan fell from grace two months ago after her father was arrested for embezzlement. When she goes missing, Chinese American poet and junior scholarship student Nancy Luo is eager to fill her queen bee shoes. That is, until an anonymous figure called the Proctor starts posting on school gossip app Tip Tap, implicating Jamie’s former best friends in her death. Nancy, fellow Chinese American scholarship student Alexander Lin, Indian track star and hotel heir Akil Patel, and Korean fashionista and pharmaceuticals heiress Krystal Choi must find the murderer—and protect their own secrets—before the Proctor takes them down. Discourse regarding drugs, fashion, gangs, race, and privilege feels shallow, and an apparent lack of research undermines credibility. Still, interwoven Tip Tap posts, text messages, and flashbacks maintain intrigue, and Nancy’s first-person narration capably drives this fast-paced thriller to its unrelenting close. Ages 14–up. Agent: Penny Moore, Aevitas Creative Management. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/04/2021
Release date: 01/05/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-5476-0398-5
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-5476-0998-7
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