Kassandra Black, a teenager with a proclivity for vigilante justice, suddenly finds herself expelled from school. When her admission to Columbia University is also rescinded, Kass gets a second chance for college admissions at Henley University. However, there’s one caveat; she must work in her great-uncle’s H.E.A.R. (Henley Engineering Anomalies Research) lab to earn full admission to the university. What follows is a path of discovery that leads to Kass’s realization and acceptance of her clairvoyance, romance, and murder in this sci-fi mystery. Epstein’s novel is a clever integration of psychological references, teenage angst, and a good old-fashioned whodunit. Although the writing may feel didactic at times, the psychological and neuroscience references provide plausible explanations for the conduct and abilities of the H.E.A.R. group. The flawed characters, unlikely alliances, and fast plot twists makes this volume a page-turner that will have readers anticipating a sequel. VERDICT Recommended for older teens with an interest in science fiction and mystery.–Tamela Chambers, Chicago Public Schools

10 of the Best New YA Books

in December 2015


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