In her gripping debut, Schachte merges the spirit of Nancy Drew with modern-day sensibilities: Flora’s intrepid drive for justice is keyed to intense vulnerability and lingering trauma.”—Publishers Weekly
“Schachte’s debut novel has the pacing of a stick of dynamite: a slow burn leading to an explosive ending.” —School Library Journal
"Schachte has done an impressive job taking a hard-boiled detective story and turning it on its head... This is an addictive page-turner for YA mystery fans, especially those looking for a Veronica Mars-like read."—Booklist
"This read would suit a...young adult who welcomes a tumultuous ride and eventual heartbreak."—BCCB
"The treatment of the subjects of trust and emotional vulnerability between friends adds an extra dimension."—Kirkus Reviews
“A serrated, black-lipsticked Nancy Drew, You’re Next is a tantalizing neo-noir joyride."—Derek Milman, author of Swipe Right for Murder
"Get your popcorn ready because You're Next is compelling as hell.”—Stephanie Tromly, author of the Trouble Is a Friend of Mine trilogy
"With a sharp-edged, savvy heroine and a plot that twists and digs, You're Next is both a page-turning thriller and the witty, authentic story of a teenage girl forging her own identity. Kylie Schachte has crafted a debut that will pull you into the dark from start to finish."—Hannah Capin, author of Foul is Fair
Flora Calhoun found her first dead body when she was 14. For the past two years, determined to see justice done, she’s acted as an unlicensed investigator, aided by her best friend, Cassidy Yang, and retired CIA operative grandfather, and only barely tolerated by the police when they cross paths. When her ex-almost-girlfriend Ava McQueen texts her asking for help, Flora responds, only to discover Ava dying of gunshot wounds. Flora’s investigation into the truth behind Ava’s murder leads her into the heart of an underground fighting organization featuring local teens. As she works to dismantle the club, ferret out the ringleaders, and discover how Ava was connected to it, Flora and her allies, including a champion fighter, face threats and mounting danger at every turn, and Flora stands ready to lose everyone she loves. In her gripping debut, Schachte merges the spirit of Nancy Drew with modern-day sensibilities: Flora’s intrepid drive for justice is keyed to intense vulnerability and lingering trauma, while her friends and family act as a support network. Some situations, such as Flora’s grandfather’s willingness to enable her investigations, border on the implausible, but tender interpersonal relationships and solid pacing make for an enjoyable murder mystery. Ages 12–up. Agent: Margaret Sutherland Brown, Emma Sweeney Agency. (July)
Gr 7–10—When she was 14, Flora Calhoun found Lucy McDonald's battered body while out on a run. Since then, she has lost everything trying to bring Lucy's killer to justice: friends (except for her best friend, Cass), her credibility, and her mother. Things started looking up when Flora gets involved with the impossibly gorgeous Ava McQueen, but out of the blue, Ava stops talking to her. Which makes it all the more confusing when Ava texts Flora in the middle of the night: "Flora, I need your help. Come fast." Flora isn't quick enough, though, and holds Ava in her arms as she bleeds out in a dark alleyway. Flora digs deep into the secret lives of her classmates with the help of Cass, her ex-CIA grandfather, her younger sister, and VT, a handsome informant who is on his own mission to find the truth. Schachte's debut novel has the pacing of a stick of dynamite: a slow burn leading to an explosive ending. Flora is unflinchingly honest and real due to her flaws. She is abrasive, refuses to open up to those close to her, and is a pretty terrible friend; yet she is smart, vulnerable, and genuinely cares for those she's trying to help and protect. The ending is abrupt, but readers will find enough action between clues to satisfy their thirst for thrills. VERDICT A fairly standard murder mystery that goes out with quite a bang. Hand to readers who just can't get enough sleuthing.—Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn Public Library
A teen’s investigative skills lead her through school secrets, small-town mysteries, and murder.
Sixteen-year-old Flora Calhoun doesn’t worry too much about college applications, even if college could be her ticket out of Hartsdale. Instead, she’s busy with unsolved crimes, hunting down criminals who escaped justice and seeking closure for those affected. Although she is at odds with the local police force, has a tense relationship with her younger sister, and feels let down by her mother (who is a painter living in Germany), Flora’s connections with her grandfather and best friend, Cassidy, are rewarding, complex, and nuanced. Her run-ins with romance, with vibrant Ava and clichéd bad boy VT, round out her character while also slowing down the story. When Flora’s latest run-in with danger hits too close to home, she’s sent deep into a mystery that reaches further than she ever expected. Flora’s mission takes her on a journey that delves into issues of socio-economic inequality dividing Hartsdale and neighboring Whitley as well as the long-term effects of trauma—accompanied by some convoluted teen drama. The treatment of the subjects of trust and emotional vulnerability between friends adds an extra dimension while some elements of the mystery may feel familiar to aficionados of the genre. Flora is white and bisexual; Cassidy is Chinese American, Ava is black, and there is diversity among supporting characters.
A thriller that delves into society’s darkness. (Thriller. 14-18)