Disclaimer: The author of this book, Erin Dionne, is a personal friend of mine, that affects this review in exactly two ways: 1. It's extremely unlikely I would have read a "Young Adult" novel had it not been written by a friend. 2. Had I not liked this book, I'd not have published a review.
I'll start this with the one line I wrote on Facebook to the "Books I've Read" section: "While this book is marketed as "Young Adult", if you like to read, appreciate good writing and a good story, this is really a wonderful book."
Moxie was just an ordinary middle school kid preparing to have that one last fun summer with her best friend Ollie before they left for different high schools and as the author put it, "social gravity" did what it always does. An unexpected visit from an impractically dressed red headed woman changed the landscape of the next two weeks (and probably the rest of) her life by landing her, and my default, her pal Ollie, in the middle of one of the great mysteries of the 20th century, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Art Heist.
Through one of the best Boston based band soundtracks, a simple set of creative and well crafted characters and a backdrop that features one of the most historic cities and it's great landmarks, the author brings us along with Moxie and Ollie on an adventure that made me curious, taught me something, got me to really care about the characters and try to guess what would happen next, it made me tap my feet to the sound of the music and sing along as I imagined them in the scenes as they played through my mind, it made me laugh, several times and it even brought some tears.
This is a well imagined story that I had a very hard time putting down, a real page turner that I truly loved. There are a number of other reviews out there on Amazon and other book sites but I suggest reading the book before the reviews, many of them reveal more than they need to about the wonderful cast and while they don't ruin it in any way, I think it's more fun to just jump in...the water is warm and it will feel great, I promise!
*********************************************I will take the liberty of lifting something from the author's blog regarding the music I refer to:
"I've made a playlist of some of Moxie's favorite songs. They were songs that I listened to a lot while I was writing the book, songs that Moxie listens to in the novel, and there's even one that Moxie doesn't like. You figure out which one that is. You can find the playlist on Spotify if you're into that (you can follow me there--bostonerin). If you're not, here's the track list:"
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
Aerosmith – Seasons of Wither (Live)
Dropkick Murphys – I'm Shipping Up To Boston
Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Where'd You Go
Dropkick Murphys – Memorial Day
The Del Fuegos – Don't Run Wild
The Cars – You Might Think
The Standells – Dirty Water
Letters To Cleo – Cruel To Be Kind
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – The Impression That I Get - Album Version (Edited)
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Someday I Suppose
J. Geils Band – Freeze-Frame - 2006 - Remaster
The J. Geils Band – Musta Got Lost - Live
The Cars – Good Times Roll
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – I Want My City Back
Dropkick Murphys – The Boys Are Back
Aerosmith – Come Together
Dropkick Murphys – Sunshine Highway
Dann Russo – Ruby Red Hair
Letters To Cleo – I Want You To Want Me
" If you're not familiar with these tunes, I hope you check them out. I'd love to know if you find a new favorite."