Wednesday, March 04, 2015

A new student review of Devin Rhodes Is Dead by Jennifer Kam

Star360 posted a new student review of Devin Rhodes Is Dead by Jennifer Kam. See the full review.

Devin Rhodes is Dead provided a tantalizing puzzle that gripped me from the first page – and no, that wasn’t a hyperbole! As soon as I read about how Devin’s body was being lowered into the ground and how conflicted Cass felt, I ran through the novel. This YA novel is told in alternating “before” and “after” Devin’s death chapters. It is easy to follow, but not predictable. It also has sharp insights into teen girl friendships and abusive relationships. Devin shared a “best friend" necklace with Cass, yet their relationship was toxic. It was filled with manipulation and betrayal. However, Wolf cleverly avoided the trap of making Devin a two-dimensional mean girl by including her weaknesses. Devin desperately needed love and understanding, so she sought affection in the arms of boys who always just wanted a good time. The novel contains a warning to such teens. After all, Devin would have had Cass’s friendship forever if she had been kinder. Cass herself was a fresh new voice. Her insecurities about weight and boys are not exaggerated; instead, they help readers understand the conclusion of the mystery. Girls will be better able to understand the intricacies of female relationships portrayed in Devin Rhodes is Dead, but teen boys might also enjoy the gripping whodunit.