All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso
Publication date December 12, 2017
This book is spot on! I can't wait to get it for my high school library! First of all, the characters had depth and believability. I understood their motives, which were well supported by the plot and background information. The main character, Scarlett, could be any teen who is drawn to the bad boy in spite of the overt and covert clues around her to stay far away from him. The storyline was well thought out and provided enough twists and surprises to maintain interest (hint, I speculated on the biggest surprise and was rewarded when I turned out to be correct.) The treatment of drug addiction and its stigma was well handled with sensitivity and a philosophy to not blame the victim. I highly recommend this title for all YA collections.
It took me a while to get "into" the story, but once I did, I was compelled to read. I think the fact that this is not only historical fiction but partially historical fact, as well as timely, makes it a good read.
I often wonder whether the notes afterwards should be read before or after reading the story. Since the book's syntax isn't too difficult, it might be a good suggestion for reluctant readers to read the notes as a motivator.
At the risk of making this into a book that teachers require in order to initiate discussions, I think it's subject matter might make for a good connecting read to studies of culture or terrorism.