Christina (Ensconced in Lit)'s Reviews > Harper Madigan: Junior High Private Eye

Harper Madigan by Chelsea M. Campbell
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's review
Apr 05, 12

Read on April 05, 2012

I received this book from member librarything giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

Harper Madigan: Junior High is about a teenaged detective, written in the style of a film noir, who solves cases in his high school, utilizing a broken down closet as his office. Things are complicated in this town with the evil and untouchable PTA (parents teachers association), a beautiful best friend who still captures his heart, and her brother who he cannot look in the eye for a reason that is yet to be revealed.

There are a lot of great things about this book. The style that it is written in is almost pitch perfect. I like the imposition of the old style black and white film detective in the broken down joint with a beautiful girl asking for help. I think that this voice kept the story going.

I had a hard time rating this book because while the prose is strong, I felt like the plot was a bit lacking. I was left at the end thinking... wait, that was the mystery? *SPOILER ALERT* I was confused that by making the exchange at the end, suddenly everything was peachy keen with the PTA. I just didn't believe that. I felt like once they had that evidence in their hands, they held all the cards at that point. What was stopping them from destroying Harper completely? They definitely had the power to do so. Furthermore, and this is just a personal preference-- Danigail was a little too much of the wimpy female. She had little acts of rebellion, but in the end, she had to have Harper save her.

That said, I think this was an enjoyable read and a good first young adult novel by Campbell!

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