Book Review: The Lost Girl Of Astor Street

Oya, everybody! Nice to see you on this lovely Monday! Unless you’re not reading this on Monday. In that case pretend I said whatever day of the week it is.

So, I read a lot. When I was little I would get in trouble for reading too much. I’d read when I was supposed to be talking to people, at the table during mealtimes, and especially when I was supposed to be sleeping. I had Christmas lights in my room for the perfectly accurate reason that I was/am scared of the dark, but also so I could read all night.

Nowadays I don’t read quite as much, because things like schoolwork exist and I’m way too tired to read all night, and I’ve already nearly exhausted our library’s stock of good books. Also, you can only reread books so many times, even ones like The Lando Calrissian Adventures and The Mysterious Benedict Society. But when a new book comes along, especially one that is recommended to me by somebody who I think is one of the coolest people in the world, I devour it.

That’s what happened when I read The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill.

(this cover is absolutely fantastic)

My friend Rolena (here’s her blog; let me borrow this book a couple weeks ago. She said it was one of her favorites, and even just reading the back I could see why.

When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.

As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

Doesn’t that just sound AWESOME?!

Being set in the Roaring Twenties is definitely a plus. There’s just so much culture you can work with, and this author managed to create a setting so natural you’d think she’d grown up in the exact place and time. The slang is also super fun. And it’s a mystery, something that I’ve always loved, one involving gangsters and the Mafia and sneaky neighbors and at least one crazy person.

And the romance.

I’m not usually a fan of romantic historical fiction, but this, this was good.

Piper, the main character, is, like, really good. You get into her head so easily. She’s witty and realistically emotional and is the kind of person who would touch a big red button labeled DO NOT TOUCH EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES without hesitation and say things at exactly the worst moment possible. Her relationships with the other characters are just so perfect for who they are, if that makes any sense. And she grows so much over the course of the story.

Speaking of the story, holy buckets the plot is so good. So many twists and red herrings, but not so many that you lost track of what was going on. Everything that happened had a reason, subplots weaving in and out of the main plot at the perfect times. I legitimately forgot I was actually reading a book, I got so sucked into it. (Just ask my mom if you don’t believe me.) I was there, deducing along with Mariano and Piper, heart going faster whenever anything dangerous happened, gasping when THAT turned out to be THAT PERSON all along.

(I suspected it beforehand, by the way. Just saying.)

Unfortunately, I don’t think there can be such a thing as a perfect book. There’s always bits that make it so some people won’t want to read it, and it wouldn’t be a proper review if I left them out.

This book is a murder mystery. Somebody dies. What with the gangs and everything, there’s a good bit of other violence that happens as well. Nothing graphic, but if some blood and such makes you uncomfortable you might not like some parts. There isn’t anything nasty, but someone gets kidnapped, and people speculate about what might be the reason behind it.

Even with those downsides, the story is incredible and immersive and satisfying.

In conclusion, I love this book. It’s just really really good.

I think I’ll go read it again.

– Ace

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