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Cerrito’s first novel is excellent. Ryan is incarcerated for murder. His story is revealed gradually, alternating flashbacks to his life before the murder with present day scenes from his time in Great Oaks School. The tension throughout the book is just perfect, and “what really happened” is revealed at just the right time. This book would be excellent for middle schoolers, and lends itself to many meaningful writing assignments.

After committing an unspeakable crime one rainy night, Allison is sent to prison. Her sister Brynn is left to deal with their parents, their high school friends, and her guilt at being the only one who knows what really happened that evening. I’d categorize Gudenkauf’s books as “chick lit suspense.” Fans of Jodi Piccoult and Kristin Hannah will appreciate it. I also very much enjoyed her first novel, The Weight of Silence.