I'd have posted my review sooner if an entire household of sickness hadn't slowed me down. But here it is, finally:
Ren D’Arc suffers an Edward Gorey sort of tragedy when her mother is killed by a stack of Harry Potter books. I’m still cackling over that. Then her grieving father uproots her from NYC, fleeing to the suburbs. Adventures ensue. I love Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s writing for the same reason that I love John Hughes’ brat pack films: fully-realized, quirky, and intriguing secondary characters. Thankfully, Lauren’s suburbs aren’t so uniformly bland and white as Hughes’, so Ren manages to surround herself with a diverse group of people. How Ren finds her way into a new school, new friends, new challenges, and a new adult support system makes for engaging reading on its own. The fillip of a mystery to solve a la Nancy Drew adds a whiff of danger, and provides momentum to the story. Secrets of my Suburban Life is a delightful read.