Finn watches from his upstairs window as a man shoots his stepmother and Finn's father then shoots the murderer. That's the opening scene, and we are off and running.
Lila's father is the one who shot the stepmother. It just so happens that he also murdered Finn's real mother, and has just been released from prison for that crime.
The story alternates perspective between Lila and Finn. Guilty may be a bit predictable -- you know they are both going to try to figure out what happened and why. I had a pretty good idea of the real story from early on in the book, but I still didn't know it all. And even if you do think you know, it just helps you root for the characters to figure it all out.
There are some good adult role models, which always is uplifting to me. The police detective, the man who knew Lila's dad from prison, the manager of Finn's father's club, and Lila's aunt all help to bring some hope to this devastating story.
The pace is unrelenting, so there's no chance to get bored. The book is short, making this an excellent choice for reluctant readers. The main characters are a boy and a girl, which means this will appeal to both. Guilty is a twisted plot with some unexpected developments. There's a heart-pounding climactic ending, but it is also satisfying. I really enjoyed this quick read and can't wait to tell some of my teens about Guilty.
Published by Orca, April 1, 2012
ARC obtained from LibraryThing Early Reviewers
224 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)
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