Friday, October 02, 2015

Chasing Secrets (2015)

Chasing Secrets. Gennifer Choldenko. 2015. Random House. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Chasing Secrets was a book I definitely enjoyed reading. It's historical fiction. (The cover may not look like it is historical fiction. And that may be a good thing, perhaps, appealing to readers looking for some action and adventure.) The novel is set in San Francisco in 1900. (I'm relieved it's not set during 1906.) Lizzie Kennedy is our thirteen-year-old heroine. She was a delight to spend time with, for the most part. I really enjoyed getting to know her. Lizzie is herself without apology. And what Lizzie wants is to be taken seriously, that is for her dreams to be taken seriously. She wants to be a doctor like her dad. And he encourages and supports her. For he knows she's smart and capable. She's also got a heart for helping people. But he's not the only one who has a say in how she's raised. Her aunt and uncle--her wealthy aunt and uncle--are quite opinionated. And, well, they don't always agree. It may not sound like an action-packed novel, and perhaps that's my fault for poorly describing it. You see, I forgot to mention one little thing: the plague. Lies. Cover-ups. Secrets. Rumors. Death and Danger. Lizzie is determined to find answers. And there are plenty who are determined to keep Lizzie from finding out those answers.

But when this one isn't so life-and-death, it's a cozy-feeling coming-of-age story about friendship. So there's something for every reader.

I really enjoyed the characterization in this one. It was so well-done. Plenty happens, but, for me that wasn't what mattered most. I genuinely cared for the characters and enjoyed spending time with them.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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