Blog Tour Review + Giveaway! Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith

Posted September 16, 2016 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2016 / 10 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway! Pasadena by Sherri L. SmithPasadena by Sherri L. Smith
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 13th 2016
Pages: 240
Genres: Coming-of-Age
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Also by this author: Orleans


Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.

When Jude's best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.

Now everyone is a suspect--family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that's the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude's got a few skeletons of her own.

About Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith is the award-winning author of YA novels LUCY THE GIANT, SPARROW, HOT SOUR SALTY SWEET, FLYGIRL and ORLEANS. In October 2015, she makes her middle grade debut with THE TOYMAKER’S APPRENTICE from G.P. Putnam and Sons for Penguin Random House.

Sherri has worked in film, animation, comic books and construction. Her books have been listed as Amelia Bloomer, American Library Association Best Books for Young People, and Junior Library Guild Selections. FLYGIRL was the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist.

She loves her family, travel, chocolate chip cookies, reading, and and a really good cup of tea.

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Jude is visiting her estranged father on the East Coast when she receives the call about Maggie. They tell her she committed suicide. That she was found floating in her pool with a belly full of drugs. But that simply doesn’t make sense, because everyone loved Maggie Kim’s vivacious and charismatic attitude; she was a girl who truly had everything to live for. Jude flies back home immersing herself in the mystery surround her death, convinced that it wasn’t suicide and that she’s going to discover the person truly responsible for her death.

‘Maggie Kim was the sun in our universe. We all circle her. Never the other way around. And now that she’s gone, we’re shifting orbits.’

Maggie was Jude’s best friend, however, once her absence becomes all the more apparent, she begins to recognize that Jude wasn’t necessarily Maggie’s best friend. Her group of friends are a diverse bunch that come together to celebrate her life but clash constantly with one another. Maggie was the bond that linked everyone and now that she’s gone, there’s nothing left to keep the friendships from surviving. As Jude begins looking beneath the glossy veneer of Maggie Kim’s life, she starts to realize that there was a reason for it: to cover all those fine cracks hidden just below the surface. All the unexpected secrets slowly being uncovered that Jude would have expected a best friend to confide to her. We’re frequently shown flashbacks of time spent with Maggie, and with all the new knowledge she’s exposed, Jude reflects on these encounters with her best friend in a different light.

While the mystery itself was appealing on its own merits, the coming-of-age type story and self-reflection it causes Jude to go through is a surprisingly heavy yet affecting facet. The story uncovers Jude’s own past, the inner demons which she is constantly struggling with, and forces her to finally bring them to the light. The glitzy L.A. backdrop is vivid, describing the stifling heat and the wildfires that constantly consume the hillsides surrounding the city. Each aspect of this story is written with a startling intensity that manages to be completely captivating. Pasadena is just my second read by this author, Orleans being my first, and I continue to be riveted by each story she’s told, regardless of genre.


Thanks to the wonderful individuals over at Penguin Books, I have a finished copy to share with one lucky reader! Leave a comment expressing your interest in this story to enter.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on September 30th, 2016.

Good luck!


Pasadena Blog Tour

Wednesday, September 7 – Teen Librarian Toolbox (guest post)
Thursday, September 8 – The Book Smugglers (guest post)
Friday, September 9 – Great Imaginations (review & giveaway)
Monday, September 12 – I Read Banned Books (guest post)
Tuesday, September 13 – The Compulsive Reader (review & giveaway)
Wednesday, September 14 – Finding Wonderland (interview)
Thursday, September 15 – Portrait of a Book (review)
Monday, September 19 – In Wonderland (interview)
Tuesday, September 20 – The Forest of Words and Pages (review)
Wednesday, September 21 – Here’s to Happy Endings (review)

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10 responses to “Blog Tour Review + Giveaway! Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith

  1. Ahh, I’ve been looking forward to reading this ever since seeing early praise from fall previews! I’m glad to see you liked it because now there’s a good chance I’ll like it, too. I think I have this for review on audio, so hopefully I’ll get to it soon; I’m very familiar with Pasadena so I’m curious to see how it holds up for a local. 😉

  2. I have been curious about this one. I usually enjoy this coming of age mysteries and I like peeling back the veneers and seeing what lies underneath.

  3. Traci M

    I would love to add this book to my library collection! It seems like a great compare/contrast lesson with Katie Allender’s Famous Last Words. Thank you for the chance to win!

  4. Vivian

    This book definitely has my interest, it seems like it has a great noir vibe to it. Don’t see that in YA everyday. I would love a chance to read it. Thanks for giving your readers the opportunity to win a copy!

  5. Andrea G

    Can’t wait to read this book. I love noir and mysteries. Plus, I’m a fan of the authors other books. Thanks for the chance.

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