This contemporary novel evokes the eponymous setting through languorous descriptive passages. The slow-burning mystery with relentless questions keeps readers hooked as Jude slowly pulls back the layers of Maggie's lives and uncovers her secrets. The tone of the novel is reminiscent of classic noir stories, but her investigation techniques don't have the same panache as the other famous teen noir sleuth, Veronica Mars. Nevertheless, the twist of the mystery about what actually happened to Maggie more than makes up for the novel's unhurried pace, forcing Jude to finally come face to face with her own buried, ugly past. For a setting-rich YA mystery that explores twisted friendships rather than the criminal element, Pasadena is the perfect choice.
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