Book Review: My Own Worst Frenemy
Terri Schichenmeyer | 9/28/2011, 5 p.m.
Guilty until proven innocent.
That's what you feel like sometimes, just for the "crime" of being a teenager. You catch blame for things you didn't do, you're looked upon with suspicion, followed for SWBT (Shopping While Being Teen), accused of all kinds of trouble, and are generally mistrusted--all because of your age.
Teens get a bad rap and that gives you a bad headache.
You're a good person, and so is Chanti Evans. She's in school, has a job, and works hard. There's no reason for anybody to think bad about her. She's smart, trustworthy, and responsible, but in the new book "My Own Worst Frenemy" by Kimberly Reid (c.2011, Dafina Teen, $9.95 / $11.95 Canada, 256 pages), one of those almost gets her killed.
For the first time in a long time, Chanti Evans was not looking forward to fall.
It all started when her old school closed and was folded into a bigger school. Lana, Chanti's mother, seized the opportunity to transfer Chanti to Langdon, a private school filled with insanely rich students. Chanti was one of three scholarship students--a first for the academy--and everybody knew it.
But Chanti's used to flying under the radar. Lana is a vice cop, and in the Denver 'hood where they live, cops are not cool. Blowing Lana's cover is not cool, either, so Chanti keeps all that quiet. Not even her BFF since third grade, Tasha, knows the truth.
School isn't all that's different or difficult, though. Tasha's become friends with someone else. Lana's become too overprotective. And then there's Langdon's leader, Headmistress Smythe, who definitely has it out for Chanti.
But does she hate her enough to frame her for theft?
When a fancy pen goes missing, then a laptop, a diamond bracelet, and a few other expensive things, the new kids--especially Chanti--catch the blame. Of course, Chanti didn't do it, and she knows the other two scholarship students didn't, either. There are plenty of other people on her suspect list, though, and Langdon's resident Mean Girl, Lissa Mitchell, is at the top.
But then the thefts get bigger and a few of Chanti's secrets spill out among Langdon's student population. That's when Chanti figures that the only way she'll be found innocent is to prove it herself....
When you've grown past the little-kid mysteries but aren't quite ready for those thick, heavy-duty adult potboilers, what do you do? You grab the first installment of this brand-new series.
Like Nancy Drew for the next generation, author Kimberly Reid's new character is smart, smooth, and sassy, a sleuth with style and snap. Chanti Evans is fun to spend time with, she has a great sense of humor, and her interesting home life practically guarantees some excellent future plot lines. Moreover, Chanti doesn't miss a thing when it comes to crime, which means that no teen crime-solver should miss this book.
Meant for kids ages 12-to-17, "My Own Worst Frenemy" can absolutely be enjoyed by adults, too.
Grab this book, and you'll surely be guilty of stealing time to read it.