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3.17  ·  Rating details ·  612 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
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 g
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I can’t even believe I’m about to admit this, but Goodreads gets the credit for me requesting Pasadena from the library. This was one of the “recommended to you” pop-ups that clog rarely show up on my feed and . . . . dat cover. The synopsis didn’t sound too shabby either.

After a superbadawful Jude decides to check out of the Hotel California and visit her father across the country. She barely touches down on the East Coast when she i
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 discov ...more
I downloaded this on a whim because I loved the cover and the synopsis and I'm always intrigued to see how authors portray SoCal...this was not what I was expecting.

What I loved:

•The back and forth way the story was told. It was an effective way to "meet" Maggie and gave an interesting peek into their friendship.

•The noir feel of everything

•The explanation {even if it felt a bit like a cop out}

What I disliked:

•Pretty much everything else.

Sadly, I couldn't get behind Jude as a MC. I wanted to
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-releases
Oh man I really liked this. Veronica Mars-esque noir-y stuff is completely my jam. I didn't really buy the actual story behind the way things went down, but apparently my tear ducts did not care because I totally lost it at the end.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
“The thing I’m finally learning is that someone can be your best friend in the world, but you’re not necessarily theirs.”

Pasadena is first and foremost a Noir story. I think it’s important to know going in. If you’re expecting a heartwarming tale of friendship and hope then you certainly came to the wrong place. There are a multitude of shadows surrounding these characters. No one is particularly innocent. Well… maybe a couple of the characters are genuinely good but everyone else consistentl
I loved this book. I reminded me of Everything I Never Told You because it has a similar premise, teenage girl found drowned and everyone suspects suicide but the ones closest to the victim. Maggie is found dead in her swimming pool and her friend Jude is the only person to believe that it is murder not suicide. Maggie is a gregarious, smart teenager who has a lot of friends and was accepted into her first choice university but as the story progresses, she seems to be a different person to diffe ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Three and a half stars: A book with a biting, self deprecating main character, who is unafraid to expose the ugliness under all the glitz and glamour.

Jude is shocked to find herself returning back home to California to bury her best friend. How could Maggie Kim, a girl who was beautiful, smart and wealthy, and one who appeared to have it all kill herself? Jude doesn't believe that Maggie committed suicide, and she is determined to get to the bottom of her friend's death, even if it means exposi
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

intriguing heroine as well as mystery revolving around
her best friend. beyond that, i loved the themes of friendship,
loyalty, family, and secrets. a darkly satisfying read!
Jenny Baker
Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith is an entertaining young adult novel that’s a compilation of a mystery- thriller and teenage drama.

I had some issues with this novel, but let me start out by saying that I did enjoy reading it. I did. It’s a quick read with interesting characters, but there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Jude’s best friend Maggie’s body is found dead in a swimming pool. Everyone has a different opinion about the cause of death — accident, suicide, or murder. With Joey’s help, Jude
Nov 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
This was a book with a whole lot of unlikable characters. Plus the ending was HORRIBLE. I almost gave this 2 stars but then the ending happened and I just couldn't do it.
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very solid mystery with more than a few dark secrets to uncover. A quick read and deceptively light, in spite of its substance. Loved the surprise ending!
Kate (Looking Glass Reads)
Aug 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Review originally seen on Looking Glass Reads.

Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith is a YA novel. Jude is suddenly called back from the east coast where she was visiting her aunt, cousin, and, theoretically, her father – her best friend is dead. They said it was a suicide. Jude’s just not convinced. It was murder. And she’s going to find out who did it.

Let me start with the small stuff. This is a YA novel. The book is written from the first person point of view. Jude is our narrator, the eyes through whi
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
As first lines go, "Maggie always was a fucking trainwreck. Leave it to her to end up facedown in a swimming pool on the hottest day of summer" are some pretty good ones. These are the lines that call back Jude from her summer vacation to Pasadena to mourn her best friend, Maggie Kim, who apparently, unexpectedly committed suicide. But Jude doesn't accept that explanation: she thinks it was murder.

Pasadena is not the intense, thrilling murder mystery you'd expect it to be for a number of reasons
Mar 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
overdone, flat "i'm damaged because i was molested as a little girl and now i can't love anyone so i put on a tough face" female protagonist, and a really, really stupid cop-out ending. if you're curious: (view spoiler)
PinkAmy loves  💕 books📖, cats😻 and naps🛏

Jude's best friend Maggie committed suicide, or was it murder? The coroner ruled drowning due to an overdose, but Jude isn't buying it. She thinks her friend was murdered and sets out to find the murderer.

Jude treats people unkindly. She's thoughtless with an acid tongue. For instance, at a wake with Maggie's friends, she asks one friend about his STD in front of the group and his girlfriend. She's been hurt by adults who should have loved and protected her and shows a surprising lack o
Julie Hicks
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Suicide is such a taboo and we never want to think about someone we love ending their life. But what if they do, what if they choose to leave us or dare we say it, someone ended it for them. In this amazing novel we follow Jude through the loss of her best friend. Jude does not think it's possible for Maggie to take her own life but how well do we really know our friends.

This novel is well written and brilliantly captures the raw emotion of loosing someone you love fort he fir
while Jude is across the country the summer before senior year of hs, her best friend Maggie is found dead in her pool.

they say it was suicide, but Jude has other theories and along with the help of her friend Joey, she begins to investigate Maggie's death herself.

written in the classic LA noir style, i could not put this down, as i too was wondering what really happened to Maggie.

if you've ever watched Brick, a "modern day noir" film, then you will definitely enjoy this book.

or if you're a fan
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, stand-alone
I've wanted to read this for a while now and I hate that I'm disappointed by it.

As the story got going, I had two guesses; it was either going to go the vilified disabled character route or Maggie's death was going to turn out to not be murder after all. I was sort of right on both. Maggie wasn't murdered, she killed herself and her disabled brother helped/didn't try to stop her because she did it for him, so their parents could pay for his surgeries and treatment, and not her expensive college.
While Jude is visiting the East Coast, she learns that her best friend from home has just committed suicide. In shock, Jude flies back home immediately to participate in the funeral preparations, as well as gather information about the circumstances of Maggie's death. After speaking to Maggie's family and some of her friends, Jude comes to the conclusion that there is no way that this tragic death could possibly be a suicide. Jude is the only person who believes that Maggie was murdered, and she ...more
Laura (midorireads)
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I feel like this book wanted to be more mysterious and “noir” than it actually was. The MC, Jude, doesn’t believe her best friend Maggie could have committed suicide, so Jude’s dead-set on finding out who could have murdered her. But her whole process of “investigating” seems so ridiculously underwhelming. All of this is going one while we’re constantly being reminded we’re in Southern California.
I couldn’t help but think of:

Another thing that annoyed me, was how rude Jude was to everybody. She
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
So this really felt like a Veronica Mars fan fiction. The writing wasn't bad but the main character, Jude, was INCREDIBLY unlikeable. Naturally there is backstory that explains her really mean attitude.

Overall, I liked the story. I liked trying to figure out what really happened to Maggie Kim and in the end I absolutely cried when the truth is revealed. But Jude? Come on man. It wouldn't kill her to be freaking nice for five seconds.

It was really hard for me to enjoy the book because of how mu
Taylor Watters
In my book Pasadeana Maggie, Jude's best friend was found dead in her swimming pool. Jude is on a vacation and she has to fly back as soon as possible to see what has happened. The night before they think that Maggie was on a date with someone she had just met. So it could have been a date rape. When Jude arrives back to the scene she goes into Maggie's room as she sits on the bed she thinks what could've happened to her best friend. She thinks of the panties that Maggie told her about, they mak ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this would be a fun YA whodunit, but it was just kind of sad (in more than one way). The author kind of gave up on the thriller/mystery aspect of the story and kept trying to add in more and more things. I guess in the end it's about how suicide can seem like the only answer and the difficulty of moving on for the people left behind. And somehow it's also about Jude's trauma. I didn't really enjoy it but it was at least a quick read.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a quick read or I should say quick listen as I read it on audiobook. I love books about Los Angeles and this one did not disappoint with its descriptions of Pasadena, Malibu, fires, earthquakes and the searingly hot season that is the Santa Ana wind time. The plot is somewhat predictable but the pacing is quick and the story is compelling. Nothing deep but a good read for the commute and for doing mundane tasks around home and office
Nicky Nicholson-Klingerman
LOVED Jude as an MC. I know a lot of people didn't but I loved her. LOVED Maggie too, a classy, mysterious Audrey Hepburn. Can't go wrong there. However, the ending pretty much ruined everything. WORST ending ever. Still mad about it.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This noir book does an excellent job showing how people deal with grief and sadness. I love how unresolved it is and how excellent Jude is at capturing the desperation and willingness to look for answers when one is confronted by the incomprehensible.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for a high school noir
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much! I suggest that anyone that likes a murder mystery reads this book! The ending is so surprising! It is also set in SoCal so I could relate to the book a lot more than I usually could a murder mystery.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Oh good, another book about a dead teenage girl
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Young Adult Conte...: #1 Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith 9 14 Jan 07, 2017 08:21PM  
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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

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“And there it is. I love my mother. And I kick myself for not being able to show it. Because she still loves me, even if she sucks at it sometimes. She” 0 likes
“The thing I’m finally learning is that someone can be your best friend in the world, but you’re not necessarily theirs. I” 0 likes
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