Synopsis from Edelweiss:
Like a contemporary take on Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle, Marnie Wells comes face-to-face with the occult, discovering she can tell the future by reading tea leaves.
Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is…eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old tea-leaf-reading book and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows—and hopes everyone else does too—that none of it’s real.
Then basketball star Matt Cotrell asks for a reading. He’s been getting emails from someone claiming to be his best friend, Andrea Quinley, who disappeared and is presumed dead. Rumor has it Matt and Andrea were romantically involved, though they’d always denied it. A faint cloud of suspicion still hangs over Matt. But Marnie sees a kindred spirit: someone who, like her, is damaged by association.
Suddenly the readings seem real. And they’re telling Marnie things about Matt that make him seem increasingly dangerous. But she can’t shake her initial attraction to him. In fact, it’s getting stronger. And that could turn out to be deadly.
About: The Leaf Reader is a fiction novel written by Emily Arsenault. It will be published on 6/13/17 by Soho Teen, an imprint of Soho Press, 240 pages. The genres are young adult and paranormal. The author normally writes mystery thrillers for adults, but this book is her first young adult novel. According to the publisher’s website, “Soho Press is an independent book publisher based in Manhattan’s Union Square. Founded in 1986, Soho publishes 90 books a year across its Soho Press, Soho Crime and Soho Teen lists, and is known for introducing bold literary voices, award-winning international crime fiction, and groundbreaking young adult fiction.” Please see below for more info about the author.
My Experience: I started reading The Leaf Reader on 2/15/17 and finished it on 2/21/17. This book is a great read. It’s different from other books I have read and it’s a nice change. In this book, readers will follow the point of view of Marnie Wells, a high school student who failed at trying to fit in so she might as well embrace her uniqueness. She lives with her grandma called G. Clara and an older brother, Noah. Her grandma teaches home ecs at the Colesbury High School where Marnie goes, but she doesn’t cook or clean at home. Her brother has a story of his own. Their mom has her own trouble and was not part of this book much. They live in an old house and Marnie walks everywhere even though her brother and grandma has a car.
One day Marnie found an old book on the shelf and it’s about fortune telling using tea leaves. She finds that she has a knack for it and her friend and classmates began coming to her. At first they were all skeptical until they noticed signs that make them believe. The book also started out with a missing girl, named Andrea, classmates of Marnie and her friend Cecilia and Matt. Matt and his group of friends, twins Phoenix and Payson, and Andrea are the popular kids in school. Matt and Andrea are best friends, but the day she went missing, she called him and he couldn’t answer because it was during class. He felt responsible for her disappearance because he couldn’t answer the phone to help her. But then Marnie’s tea leaf fortune telling started to give him clues. They went chasing it, solving the mystery that police couldn’t.
This book being a bit shorter than I’m used to, but it’s packed with so much. It keeps me on the edge of my seats and keeps my attention on the book. I like the author’s way of writing. The start of the book grabs my attention and sucks me in. The tea leaf fortune telling concept is interesting. I like following Marnie’s train of thoughts and I like that she’s smart. When she feels she was being followed, she knows what to do in tough situations. The romance came out of nowhere. I couldn’t tell when the guy had any attraction. This book focused more on the problem solving and the mystery so it was definitely an interesting read. My heart was pumping and my mind was racing for clues. It leads me to the end and I couldn’t guess who it is. I highly recommend the read to everyone!
Pro: suspenseful, page turner, twist and turns, attention grabber, problem solving, mystery, heart-pumping, mind racing
Con: romance came out of nowhere
I rate it 5 stars!
Grab yourself a copy here: Book Depository
About the Author:
Emily Arsenault worked as a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster for four years after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She and her husband were US Peace Corps volunteers in South Africa and now live in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, with their daughter. This is her first young adult novel. (Info obtained from Edelweiss).
More Information about Soho Press
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Soho Teens for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.