Bookworm: 'Creeping with the Enemy'

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One of your friends is about to do something extremely dumb.

She never was one to make good decisions but this time, she’s made an awful one. It involves boys and sneaking out, a party somewhere out of town, a good chance for big trouble and, well, you’re no snitch but somebody oughta know. This could turn out very badly.

So what do you do when a friend is in a potential mess? For Chanti Evans, the answer is clear: detective work will keep her friend safe. In the new book Creeping with the Enemy by Kimberly Reid, the challenge is to weed through the lies.

The robbery at the tamale place made no sense.

It was Freebie Friday and their buy-one-get-one offer usually meant a line out the door. But almost nobody was there and15-year-old Chanti Evans noticed. She also noticed the guy who was flirting with her friend, Bethanie. There was something really wrong about him.

First of all, he acted weird when the gunman entered the restaurant, like Creep-O was some kind of hero, but he almost got everybody killed. Truth? Chanti would probably never know what really happened.

Thing is, she hated lies but it seemed like her whole life was based on them. She lied to her school’s headmistress about Marco Ruiz, whose parents forbid him to see Chanti even though Marco was Chanti’s sort-of boyfriend, which was scary because she’d never had a boyfriend before.

Then there was the lie of not going to the tamale place, but it was more of an omission. It was hard to fool Lana, because she was always on alert. And besides, though Chanti and Lana were tight, Lana kept her own secrets, too.

Everybody hated Chanti’s snooping. But what else could she do?

So you love mysteries, but the books your mom read back in the day are too old-school for you? Then try Creeping with the Enemy, set in a new kind of school with a street-smart sleuth.

And that sleuth – she’s the best part of this book. Reid gives Chanti brains, maturity and a sense of humor without making her too much of a good-girl type. That and the unstilted, real-life conversational dialogue lend authenticity and will keep savvy 12- to-17-year-old detectives from tossing this book aside.

This teen novel is the third in a series and, while it could be read first, I think you’ll like it better if you’ve read at least the first installment.


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