The Locker Exchange

­Wattpad. Jul. 2022. 352p. pap. $11.99. ISBN 9781989365830.
Gr 9 Up–Formerly published on Wattpad and available for the first time in print, Rae’s debut is a thrilling YA murder-mystery romance that centers on Brynn, a brown-haired, gray-eyed high school junior who literally stumbles upon a student who has suspiciously fallen to her death from the school bleachers. Brynn is shaken up after seeing a dead body, but she’s rattled to her core because of the person in black that she saw running away from the scene. The police don’t have any suspects, and, for now, are ruling the death an accident. Brynn can’t accept that, so she starts her own investigation. Meanwhile, a brown-haired, blue-eyed football player named Kyler has suddenly been vying for Brynn’s attention when they begin sharing a gym locker that has no back. They are able to see through it from both sides, so they begin flirting with each other through the hole. As Brynn tries to piece together the mystery with the help of friends, she also begins to realize that she may have feelings for Kyler. Rae flawlessly develops a blossoming relationship in the middle of a murder by keeping it more plot-driven as characters work to solve the mystery while Brynn experiences first love on the sidelines. Given Brynn’s home situation, where her parents are away for a work trip, she is on her own entirely, except for the presence of her friends. This setting makes the story more believable as the readers witness teenagers taking on adult roles and putting themselves in serious situations.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy a sweet love story that’s wrapped up in a nail-biting murder mystery will eat this up.

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