My Pick This Week: Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
“Most scientific laws can be boiled down to a simple mathematical if-then equation. If you follow the rules, then you get the desired result. If you deviate, then there is a consequence. The rules of law don’t concern themselves with why.
My mother really only had three rules: A) no bad grades, B) no trouble, and C) no touching. A + B + C = admission to a good college. In her mind, this was an incontrovertible direct mathematical proof. It wasn’t a theory. It was the only possible outcome.
I used to believe that too. But that was before I started to wonder why. Sometimes, the only way to find a solution is to break the rules.”
~ p. 1
“Oleksa’s clear gray eyes revealed nothing as he glanced at their faces, then at the cash. “Deal,” he said. He didn’t move. Simply inclined his head and gestured with a quick curl of his long fingers. “Give to me.”
Eric withdrew a Rubik’s cube from the pockets of his baggy shorts. He grinned, twisting the sides of the puzzle until it was a jumble of random colors. Another boy drew up a sleeve and poised his watch in the air, fingers twitching over the stop mechanism. Oleksa’s eyes met theirs. He didn’t blink.
“Ten seconds,” the timer said, shuffling from foot to foot. “Starting . . . now!”
Oleksa caught the cube and his fingers flashed over the surface in quick successive turns, each pass aligning the colors with increasing accuracy. My heart sped up as I counted down in my head.
“There’s no way . . .” Eric clenched his hands, glancing at his money. “The world record is just under seven.” I rocked forward, inching up on my toes for a better look. The timer looked from Oleksa to his watch. “Five . . . four . . . three . . .”
Oleksa gave the cube a final turn and slammed it down on the desk between them.
“I win,” he said.”
~ p. 56
How about that opening? I had to skip ahead to pg. 56 for the second expert, but I can already tell this book is worth the read. It's clear and thought-provoking without trying too hard. I really like instead of saying "this girl is smart and her brains are her ticket out of her situation" that it presents this in a mathematical theory.
From that, I gather that she's smart and also analytical. But the wrench thrown in, the "why" tells me she's a victim of some circumstance. All of this without say so; all of this in three paragraphs? Am I interested in learning more -- yes please!
Genres: YA, Mystery Thriller, ContemporaryRelease Date: March 25, 2014
Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.
Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.
Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.