Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid

My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid
Publisher:Kensington Teen
Publish Date: August 30, 2011
Paperback, 256 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult
 ISBN: 978-0758267405
Langdon Prep #1

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My Review:
I liked this book.  Chanti has quite a chip on her shoulder, but it's what I would expect.  Her mom's a vice cop and she can't tell anyone.  She lives on a street that is almost the bad part of town but not quite.  She seems to have lost her best friend and a new friend over the summer.  Her mom watches her like a hawk because of her job and cares who Chanti hangs out with and that is the reason that Chanti has ended up at Langdon Prep.  And at Langdon Prep it seems that the Headmistress has it out for her as well.  The only good thing in Chanti's life is fellow scholarship student Marco.

Chanti was smart but still the typical teenager.  She seems to have learned a lot from her mom.  I like that her mom is involved in her life even if they have to keep what her mom does secret because of the nature of being a vice cop.  I was intrigued by the mystery elements of the book and even though they really didn't pick up until half way through the book, the first half was still great with setting up the characters and learning the background.  I never felt bogged down like you sometimes do in first books in a series.  Ms. Reid was able to keep the book flowing from the information and getting-to-know the character stage to the trying to solve the mystery stage very well.

As I mentioned before Chanti still manages to be a typical teenager, she is caught up in liking Marco and it clouds her judgement.  Also picking friends clouds her judgment.  She doesn't always make the right decisions and sometimes there are consequences.  I also like that the pieces didn't fall into perfect place for her.  It did take some work and some effort and some help from others.  She drew from what she learned from her mom and help from others.  I'm not saying the mystery element was perfect, but it was a lot of fun for me.  There aren't a lot of contemporary non-paranormal mystery young adult books out there so I think this definitely fills a niche.  I look forward to future installments as well to get to know Chanti and the others from Langdon Prep more.

If you like character-driven mysteries then this is a great book for you.  I'm a sucker for private school novels, especially where someone less fortunate (poor) gets to go there.  I always pull for them.  My first exposure to this was Kate Brian's Private series.  While My Own Worst Frenemy is very different from that series, I see myself sticking with the Langdon Prep series as long as it goes on because it has a story I am interested in along with characters that intrigue me.  I enjoyed Ms. Reid's writing and look forward to the second installment, Creeping With the Enemy in May of 2012.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

Parental guidance: Some swear words but not much, maybe a reference to sex, but nothing that stands out in my mind, definitely nothing graphic.  I would say 14+ because it just reads as an older book, but if I had a younger daughter who was more mature I would have no problem with her reading this one.

About the Book:
Straight outta the Mile High City, Chanti Evans is an undercover cop's daughter and an exclusive private school's newest student. But Chanti is learning fast that when it comes to con games, the streets have nothing on Langdon Prep.

With barely a foot in the door, fifteen-year-old Chanti gets on the bad side of school queen bee Lissa and snobbish Headmistress Smythe. They've made it their mission to take Chanti down and she needs to find out why, especially when stuff begins disappearing around campus, making her the most wanted girl in school, and not in a good way. But the last straw comes when she and her Langdon crush, the seriously hot Marco Ruiz, are set up to take the heat for a series of home burglaries--and worse. . . .

About the Author (from Goodreads.com): 
Kimberly Reid grew up in Atlanta where she lived some of the same experiences Chanti Evans does in the Langdon Prep series: she attended a prep school where she did not fit in, her mom was a police detective and she always wanted to help her solve crimes. Like Chanti, she has lived most of her life around law enforcement types.

But that's about where the similarities end. Kimberly is way too conflict-averse (scared) to be a detective although she did give her two cents on some of her mother’s cases whether asked or not.

She now lives in Colorado, which is why she has Chanti solving crimes in the beautiful city of Denver. It’s a lot like any other big city except the mountains make it feel like you’re home but also on vacation.

Kimberly has had a few jobs: sales, waiting tables, IRS tax collector, corporate manager, and office lady at a middle school, among others. She was pretty good at most of them but wasn't truly satisfied until she became a writer, the job she dreamed of doing since childhood.

Okay, but write about what?

Readers often ask writers where they get their ideas. Kimberly found plenty right at home. Not only was her mom a street cop, she also worked undercover in vice and was a crime investigator for the district attorney. Kimberly's stepdad is a criminal lawyer and former public defender which means she got to see both The Law and The Order from both sides of the courtroom (and the dinner table). Her husband worked many years at a police department. One of her many jobs was at a company run by former cops where she provided software support to police officers.

They say you should write what you know. Kimberly didn’t need to be a detective to figure out what she ought to write. Now when she sits at her laptop to spin a story, she knows how lucky she is to finally be doing the thing she loves.


FTC Information: I received this book through Teen Book Scene for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&N.com, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.


Lindsay Cummings author said...

this one looks great! Thanks for the review! :)

Here's my review of Incarnate. Stop by and leave your thoughts?!


Giselle said...

Oh my god how have I not heard of this book before? It's definitely up my alley I adore mysteries like these! Thanks so much for reviewing this so that I could find out about it! Haha.

Xpresso Reads

Megan said...

Sounds like a great read!

Megan @ Storybook Love Affair


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