Have You Seen Me?
Vesuvian Books, 8/21
Aubrey LaRoux knew she’d stand out at the prestigious Waverly Prep School. Land, rumored to be cursed when it belonged to the Chitimacha, developed a darker history as a sugar mill plantation. Indisputably responsible for the dismal lives and deaths of countless slaves, the historical remains on site presented an unwelcoming atmosphere.
Although she’d be one of only a few Black students, the fact that she was there on a Creole scholarship would be well-known and was more concerning. Aubrey had no hopes of making friends, only securing a solid education.
As predicted, popular student, Marjorie made sure Aubrey bore the brunt of bullying. Then, Marjorie went missing. The majority of the student body expressed shock and sadness. Aubrey, in her infinite teen-aged wisdom, angrily and emphatically stated delight in Marjorie’s absence, changing her status from student to suspect.
Returning to Waverly as a history teacher seemed surreal as Aubrey stepped back onto campus. Unease turned to trepidation when she noticed a Missing poster featuring a face remarkably similar to her own tormentor. Marjorie’s little sister, Lindsey, followed too closely in her sibling’s footsteps. She is missing from Waverly.
Insisting that teen-aged girls create drama and run away, Probst, the apathetic headmistress, was determined to run the school “business-as-usual”. Just like when Marjorie disappeared. They all did nothing.
But students are bolder and Ms. LaRoux is staff now. Lindsey’s disappearance will not be ignored. It doesn’t hurt that the calm and capable sheriff is quite handsome and intriguing. Even if he seems to be always holding something back.
Ms. LaRoux and students are pretty stellar sleuths. They are connecting dots and most assuredly assembling a big picture. Until the first in their group is brutally murdered. The pace of the investigation picks up and becomes a race to solve the mystery before any more lives are lost.
Have You Seen Me? grabbed my attention immediately. I stayed totally engaged, sometimes turning pages fast enough for paper-cuts. The timing is impeccable, I just met with “my” students for the first time this school year and this spot-on, YA-mind-boggling-mystery wherein every character could be a killer is exactly what they were asking for.
This review was written by jv poore for Buried Under
Books, with huge thanks for the Advance Review
Copy to donate to my favorite classroom library.
Reviewed by jv poore, October 2021.