Review: Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith

Author: Sherri L. Smith
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.

When Jude’s best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.

Now everyone is a suspect—family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that’s the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude’s got a few skeletons of her own.

I once again need to thank Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings for sharing with me her ARC of Pasadena. Without her generosity I might not have read this amazing book.

“Maggie always was a fucking train wreck.”

From the moment Pasadena began with that crazy sentence and the paragraph that followed, I knew it was going to be good. And it was very, very good.

Sherri L. Smith is a talented writer. Her characters and their story took on a life of their own. There wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t completely invested in what was happening. I read Pasadena from beginning to end, not wanting to break from the action.

My favorite thing about Pasadena was its quirky bunch of characters. Each one played an important role in the mystery of Maggie’s death. Most important was the narrator, Jude. Jude could not believe her best friend had committed suicide. There was no possible way, so Jude set out to find Maggie’s murderer. I loved Jude’s snarky personality. The interactions she had with all of the other characters were priceless. What she discovered about herself, Maggie and the others as she searched for Maggie’s killer made for an interesting coming of age tale.

Pasadena was filled great insights, surprising discoveries and so much fun. This was my first time reading Sherri L. Smith’s writing, and I was so impressed with it that I can’t wait to read another one of her books. Pasadena is a mystery young adult fans are sure to enjoy.

7 thoughts on “Review: Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith”

  1. Really glad to hear that you liked this! It was definitely an intriguing YA mystery that made you stick with it to the end to see what happens! Jude definitely did have a fun, snarky personality that made her so easy to relate to – she was no nonsense and she got to the bottom of things!

  2. I read the blurb and thought “well if the popo’s call it suicide, and their friends and family call it suicide…you must be da crazy one to call it murder!” I mean, I get the sentiments but if they were my friend and all the evidence pointed one way and there was a sliver of hope, I’d still be like “idk man…the odds aren’t there.” But I digress.

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