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To the Power of Three
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To the Power of Three

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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  2,625 ratings  ·  280 reviews
The three girls have been inseparable best friends since the third grade -- Josie, the athletic one; Perri, the brilliant, acerbic drama queen; and Kat, the beauty, who also has brains, grace, and a heart open to all around her. But their last day of high school becomes their final day together after one of them brings a gun to school to resolve a mysterious feud. When the...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2005)
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Stephanie
I have to say I found this book to be pretty disappointed. I expected much more. I think the author could have done a lot more with the story. It had the potential to be really good, but definitely fell short. The book went on for much longer than it needed to. I was interested enough to want to know what happened at the end, and when I finally made it there, I said, "that's it?" I wanted a lot more.
Christie
To the Power of Three was my first novel by Laura Lippman. It’s hard to know what to say about it because while I didn’t love it, I certainly appreciated its merits.

To the Power of Three tells the story of Kat, Perri and Josie, childhood best friends. One June morning, one of the three brings a gun to school, shoots two of the girls (one fatally) and then herself. The novel then begins to unravel the story of what would have caused this horrible act of violence.

Lippman is an accomplished writer....more
Christa Sgobba
This is my fourth Laura Lippman book (all stand-alone novels, not her mystery series), and I came to a realization about them: I like them a lot more while I'm reading them than when I'm done and looking back.

I think that's because her books really hold your interest--I always find myself invested in the characters and looking forward to picking up where I left off. But the climaxes always seem a bit disappointing. After caring so much about the characters, and really enjoying what's going on, t...more
Dora
So many people have recommended Laura Lippman to me that I was extra disappointed that this book didn't wow me.

I thought the writing style odd at times-- even though it's in the 3rd person, the tone would change dramatically depending on which character it was following (gruff cop, ditzy teenager, etc).

The plot trods along dully, when a murder mystery should have an exciting pace... the big reveal at the end left me feeling like "OK, so that's what happened", not "OH SNAP! THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED!...more
Bev
I've come upon yet another book set in my hometown of Baltimore, MD! This one mentions lots of places I know very well, so it makes the story more immediate.

Just finished the book...there are lots of things I love about Laura Lippman's writing, and I will definitely read more of her books, but as I have seen in many of the reviews, this is not her best work. The story started out like gangbusters, and I was very intrigued for about the first 1/3rd of the book, but then the story started to meand...more
Vicky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa H.
May 24, 2011 Lisa H. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who was an outcast in high school
Shelves: mystery
Lippman's freestanding novels are not your standard mysteries. (She has also written a series featuring a PI named Tess Monaghan, of which I've read part of one, that I'm not really interested in pursuing.) Yes, there's been a crime committed, and there usually are police involved, but her writing spends more time digging into the minds of the people involved, and looking at how their histories have led them to be connected to the crime in some way.

I remarked to a friend as I was reading this t...more
Linda C
Book was ok, but anti-climatic in the end. Listened to it on discs in the car, which was difficult because the point of view changed so often. I found myself listening to sections over and over to try and figure out who was speaking and wanted to flip the "pages" to re-read something. So if you are going to read it, choose the paper version, not the audio. Agree with other reviewers that it was too long. Felt like the writer realized that she was 500 pages and so needed to end it, fast. Also, I...more
Melissa
This is my first Lippman book and I will definitely be reading more. The story is so well crafted. Three friends found shot in their high school bathroom. It looks like a simple case of jealousy among teen girls but as the years of friendship unravel it's not what it originally seems, but then again, it actually is. I found the ending believable more than shocking. For me, it's not always important to have a *gasp* revelation in the final chapter. I think it's more difficult to slowly flesh out...more
Mark Soone
I would go 2.5 stars, but can't quite bring myself to 3....I wanted to like this, and I almost liked this.

Decent little story about a school shooting, and the mysterious way things went down inside of a girls bathroom. The survivors testimony just not line up with clues. The rest of the book gradually details the way 3 young ladies (hence the title) developed a great friendship from the age of 8, and then flipping back and forth to add new characters, dimensions and unravel the mystery.

This boo...more
Shelly
Simply exhilarating! Laura Lippman’s To the Power of Three kept me on the edge of my seat. It takes a special book for me to want to “cheat” and sneak a look at the ending. I am never one for much self-control so I must admit, I looked. ) But I still read the whole book. At some points I thought the story was a little disjointed with it flashing back to the girls past. And admittedly, those parts didn’t keep my interest as well as the present. Lippman does an excellent job of getting into the hi...more
K
i like laura lippman a lot, and i thought "to the power of three" was another tess adventure. turns out it wasn't but no matter. i love how lippman weaves multiple story lines to a single point. she's a brilliant writer and i'm amazed at how she is able to write from the point of view of SO many characters. it was hard to put this book down, and i could hardly wait to pick it up again. it starts with a school shooting, with what appears to be a clear cut murder scenario, but the easy answer isn'...more
Alarra
This is kind of a standalone book, based on a real crime. Rather than focussing on the detectives and their police work, it tries to sort out how three teenage girls, once best friends, hurt each other physically and emotionally, culminating in a fatal shooting. Because of the large amount of time it tries to cover (it flashes back constantly to show different stages of the girls' friendship from childhood onwards) and the attempt to solve the crime while delving into the psychological and relat...more
Jennifer
I think I have a girl crush on Laura Lippman. That's how much I like her books. I don't know if it's because I've been reading them since her very first, Baltimore Blues, came out in the mid-90's when I still lived in "The City That Reads" or if she's just that good (apparently the critics all have crushes on her, too, as she's won every major mystery writing award there ever was--she's even recently been serialized in the NY Times Magazine), but I love reading her books and am always a bit sad...more
Bonnie McHenry
I agree with the last review. I was disappointed in the writing style, the plot and the character development. Being from Maryland, I was excited to read about a book where the setting was very familiar to me. That was about the only interesting thing in the book. The story seemed to drag on and the climax was totally not worth reading all 400 and some pages. I wanted to read her Tess Monaghan series but I think I will skip it after reading this.
Debra
I read Laura Lippman for the first time when I read "I'd Know You Anywhere." I thought it was very good read, so I decided to try another of her books. I was disappointed with this one. It was a quick easy read, but just didn't grab me at all. I couldn't figure out what motivated the girls involved and just didn't really care about the characters. It had potential, but just didn't arise to the occasion.
Courtney
As predicted, I liked this book way more than every top review.

Stories like this just get me...I love the drama of it all. But I do not like the melancholy feelings that pester me at the end.

That's when I know a book is good: when that hint of grief is still curled up in my stomach long after I've read the last word.
Sue Jellum
I really liked reading this book, and would have given it 4 stars if I didn't feel so unsettled at the end. 3 girls, friends since grade school, are involved in a shooting at a high school. The story explains the friendship and doesn't do a great job of explaining the end of the friendship.
Lorie Eckert
To the Power of Three by Laura Lippman is the story of three high school seniors who have been close friends since third grade. However, something has gone terribly wrong in their friendship. The story opens with the three girls together in the school bathroom, where Kat is shot dead, Perri is shot in the head but not quite dead, and Josie is shot in the foot. It appears that Perri shot her friends before turning the gun on herself. Josie is a witness to it all, but there is little she is willin...more
Mar
I heard an interview with the author on NPR so I tried one of her books. I really wanted to like it, because then it would give me a new go-to series when I travel. I plowed through half the book and gave up. Early on, there is a scene with characters named Alexis and Anita, as I recall. I kept having to reread to remind myself who was who. Why, oh why, did the author give them similar names?? I also couldn't keep track of 2 of the 3 young women of the title ("OK, is Perri the one who...no, that...more
Cheryl
Too long, not a bad story, horribly weak ending
Judith
Much as I enjoy Lippman's Tess Monaghan series, I like her non-series books more. They tend to be more complex psychologically, and seriously unpredictable. And so is the case here.

Three girls. Perri and Kat met in kindergarten, and Josie joined them in third grade. The three became a set, all the way into high school. Until they didn't. For some reason a separation happened among the girls, some distance was created. It was unclear why. Then the unthinkable happened. One of the girls brings a...more
Lukasz Pruski
Laura Lippman’s “To the Power of Three” is advertised on the cover as a “novel of suspense”. Indeed. We know who pulled the trigger from the very beginning, but we do not know why and exactly how. Finding the answer to these questions provides sustained suspense throughout the book. However, to me, the suspense aspect is not the main reason that the novel is worth reading. I find the psychological and sociological observations of status structures in school quite interesting.

We follow the friend...more
Cathy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Quinn
This long, complex, detailed book is well worth reading. Through flashbacks, different perspectives and a large variety of characters you learn the story of three friends, girls who have known each other for years, who supported each other, trusted each other, and were a bit jealous of each other from time to time. But no one can understand how, on high school graduation day, two of them wind up dead and one too rattled to tell what happened.

No spoiler alert needed, you find all this out in the...more
stephanie
i do think that laura lippman writes differently when she is writing her tess series versus her stand-alones. i read the tess books in order and they are more . . . traditional mysteries that people expect, with a who-dun-it, seasoned characters and clues.

this is a stand alone about three girls and a small community outside of baltimore. i think that the community is a character here, with its expectations of the girls, their families, its landscape even. the soon-to-be movie star is drawn back...more
Susan
Josie, Perri, and Kat have been best friends since third grade--the athlete, the drama queen, and the popular beauty. Growing up in an affluent suburb of Baltimore, they enjoy privileges many teenagers are denied. But on the final day of school one of them brings a gun with her. And when the police break down the door of the high school girls' bathroom, locked from the inside, they find two of the friends wounded, one of them critically . . . and the third girl is dead.
Ninon
J'ai aimé le mystère et l'espèce d'ambiance mélancolique distillée tout au long du roman autour du personnage de Kat, les détails délivrés au compte goute sur les personnages, le déroulement des évènements. Je ne m'attendais pas réellement a ces séries de points de vue différents, les avis des différents personnages et l'accès à leurs réflexions, leurs tourments mais j'ai vraiment apprécié cette construction de l'histoire. Un peu déçue par quelques détails à la fin de l'histoire mais dans l'ense...more
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Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for othe...more
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“Sometimes you have to destroy things, even people, in order to save them. (7)” 7 likes
“No one at fifteen was ever in love, outside of Romeo and Juliet, and maybe not even them. Old Giff used to argue that the star-crossed lovers simply were buzzed on the fumes of forbidden lust. Give them thirty years of togetherness, Old Giff always said, and Juliet would be plunging the dagger into Romeo.” 4 likes
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