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Spin

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  488 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to an untimely end, and the local music scene is reeling. No one is feeling the pain more than her shunned pre-fame best friend, Kya, and Paris's chief groupie, Fuse. But suspicion trumps grief, and since each suspects the other of Paris's murder, they're locked in a high-stakes game of public ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  488 ratings  ·  149 reviews


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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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Wow, Scholastic went edgy. When I was a kid, I think the most controversial book I ever read from a Scholastic imprint was Louis Sachar's HOLES. I'm honestly psyched about this, because I've gone on rants before about how way too many young adults books try to over-simplify and over-sanitize their content to make it kid-friendly, when we live in a world that really isn't kid-friendly and kids are going to look for content they relate to.



In
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Rincey
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-author
Fun, fast-paced, gripping mystery. I had an inkling about the whodunit part but there were a few other twists that I didn't see coming.
OutlawPoet
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First, if you're looking for diverse characters, this is for you. It's not 'diversity for diversity's sake'. In other words, this isn't some dude jumping on the diverse YA bandwagon. He's been writing for a while. The author himself is a POC and (shock!) he understands that POC aren't all the same. We have rich people, poor people, people who love music, people who code. Of all races. This will appeal to any YA reader.

Looking beyond the diversity tag, we simply have an excellent YA thriller.
...more
Dahlia
Man, this was so good. I always think Giles's thrillers are good but I think this is my fave so far. I just loved the voices, loved the pacing, loved the way he incorporated the dark web, fandom (and standom), and social justice, and also made it a friendship story, not to mention I thought the mystery went to a very cool place. I am such a fan and this was honestly even better than I thought it'd be.
Richelle Robinson
I've read other works by this author before in anthologies so I was excited to read a full length novel. It did take me some time to get into the story but once I did, I was hooked. I enjoyed how in depth this book was when it came to music, shady people and the intense fandom as well. This book also touched on the lack of media coverage when a person of color is killed which I thought was an important topic as well. When the killer is revealed I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be that person. I ...more
Bang Bang Books
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75

I wish Giles would take some thriller writing workshops from E. Lockhart or Jennifer Lynn Barnes because this book could have been so good. He was missing some character development that would have made this book a 4 star or more.

This book is basically a thriller/whodunit in the music/rap world which in itself is nuanced. Considering the mysterious deaths of Biggie and Tupac, this setting is not out of the ordinary.

My issues with this book are minor but it was a lot of little things that
...more
Jamie Canaves
I love Giles’ characters and this time he gave me three great ones! DJ ParSec, real name Paris Secord, is a sixteen-year-old up-and-coming DJ ready for fame and most importantly fortune–or was before she was murdered. Being questioned in the police station are Fuse, basically her social media hype girl, and Kya, her childhood best friend. But the questioning doesn’t last long because the girls’ parents refuse to let the police keep questioning them, plus they swear they just found Paris dead and ...more
Kelly
A really compelling mystery about a murdered DJ, her two closest friends/fans who -- at the time of her death -- were on the outs with her, and about police brutality, black justice, racial inequality in the media (there was a lot here reminiscent of Tiffany D. Jackson's MONDAY'S NOT COMING), and about social media and technology and the Dark Web. The twists here are solid and compelling, and both Kya and Fuse both have outstanding voices. This is my first Giles and won't be my last. Though ...more
Mary Thomas
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Giles has a winner here!! Gripping from the start, I loved this mystery about the murder of a talented young DJ.

I think teen readers will LOVE this book- the social media, the friendships, school life and language was all spot on. And it will certainly appeal to our high taste readers (s/o to Nic Stone) even with the length.

Giles manages to layer in a lot here: the characters meditate on class, race, and whose story gets told in the media and why.

I will absolutely be purchasing two copies for
...more
Regina
This book was DOPE.
The mystery was well done, with enough red herrings to keep me entranced. And the beautiful acknowledgment and integration of current and past hip-hop was extremely on point.

My only complaint was the audiobook, which would have done better to secure younger narrators to match the tone of the text. Bahni Turpin is always amazing, but there were a lot of times throughout the book where it was easy to forget the intended ages of the characters. AND one of the other narrators
...more
Afoma Umesi
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this fast-paced YA mystery! A riveting story of two high-schoolers thrown into solving the mystery of their best friend’s death. After popular teen DJ, Paris Secord is murdered, two of her friends (who are not on speaking terms) come under public suspicion. Both girls are forced to band together against a group of darkly fanatic supporters, uncooperative police staff, and other hindrances to their efforts.

This novel is captivating, and I finished the 10-hour audiobook in two
...more
Alex
Oct 06, 2019 added it
I’ll be honest and say I’ve never been a huge fan of murder mysteries. I feel all books written as so are pretty predictable as it is more likely of a reader nowadays to evidently know who the killer is. Nonetheless, Spin by Lamar Giles completely reversed my opinion with its radical take on the classic murder mystery. The School Library Journal agrees with me in their review on Amazon Books stating, “This novel transcends its genre.” The book’s unique twist on its genre and strong message made ...more
Heather Johnson
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5/5

This is the most 2019 book I've ever read. The pop culture references in this book will NOT stand the test of time, but the murder mystery had me hooked! Multiple narrators help drive the plot, and readers first meet Kaya and Fuse in the police station, shortly after they both find their friend and up and coming musician, Par-Sec, dead.

Kaya has been Par-Sec's friend since they were children, both commiserating over having absent fathers, living a life made up of thrift store finds and hand
...more
Carli
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Edelweiss and Scholastic for the advance Kindle copy of this 1.29.19 release. All opinions are my own.

/5 for this engaging thriller. When teen DJ ParSec (Paris, to her friends) is found dead, her childhood best friend and new friend/groupie/promoter have to put aside their (major) differences as they search for her killer. They find themselves being pursued by a dangerous fan group as they near the truth. I absolutely love that this book has older characters and a gritty premise
...more
Ellen
Overall, it was a decent mystery. I was a little disappointed in the "reveal" because a) I'd already figured it out; and b) it was a little anti climatic. I liked the main two girls, though I sometimes struggled remembering which point of view I was in. I did like the style and that it was a diverse book written by a diverse author. I may check out some more books by Lamar Giles.

Content Warning: Some fairly mild language and a little violence.

2019 challenge: An "own voices" book
Carolyn
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grades, fiction, ya
This was fun! Liked the mystery, like the girls’ personalities. The mystery wrapped up a little fast for the pace of the rest of the story. I’d love to actually here these tunes.

Re: classroom library: the characters are in high school and might be a little out of middle schoolers’ interest, but there wasn’t anything worrisome or inappropriate so I’d be OK putting this in my 6th/7th library (if this was my copy! I actually borrowed it from our school librarian).
M
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall, I was impressed and intrigued by how much Giles put into this book without taking anything away from the main plot or clogging up the mystery. It was engaging and thrilling from beginning to end, with some real emotional punches thrown in every couple of pages. I really loved it and I can’t wait to read more books written by this author.

Find my full review on the blog.
Steph O'Neil
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book seriously blew my mind! I couldn't stop reading and immediately knew I would have students who loved this. It is a great murder mystery, but it also deals with some pretty serious issues: race, class, social media, fame, family, friendship. One of my favorite books that I've read this year.
Lupita
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A mystery like Veronica Mars. Girls that are enemies, but become friends. And a recipe on how to honor a lost friend. Highly recommend this fast action packed read!
Kate T.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
4.25/5 stars
Sarah Dawson
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-mystery
Interesting points of view, particularly ParSec's countdown to the day she died.
Jen McGraw
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Can you say Beyhive? I enjoyed reading this young adult mystery, and my students are going to love it also! The pop culture references were excellent!
Carolina
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
i didn't feel any type of connection towards this story, but it wasn't bad at all, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

actual rating: 2.75/5
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
I never got into this and found I didn't care what was going on - DNFing and moving on.
MaryLibrarianOH
Murder mystery and the music business. The right amount of suspense and red herrings to keep the plot interesting and moving forward.
Sam Bloom
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Highest 4.5 star rating possible
Nikki S
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review to come.

**EDIT 3/04/2019**

You can find more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away...

Somehow, this is the first book by Lamar Giles I've ever read. His book Overturned that came out in 2017 was super high on my TBR, but I never got a hold of it. I knew not to make this mistake with Spin. And with its badass characters, amazing music references, and so much more, I'm glad I didn't miss out on it.

DJ ParSec was gearing up to be just as big as DJ Khaled. But just as she is growing in
...more
Liz Friend
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story: Rising star DJ ParSec has been murdered. Both Kya and Fuse are on the suspect list--even worse, they can't stand each other. Worst of all: they're both suspects. When it becomes clear they're going to have to work together, strange things start happening courtesy of a whacko set of ParSec's groupies, the Dark Nation. Now Kya and Fuse are going to have to watch their backs as they try to track an elusive killer and work through their own troubled history.

June Cleaver's ratings:
...more
Sarah ➖Goddess of Mischief➖
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Llyr Heller-Humphreys
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent mystery, but more than that a topical book about what deaths get media and police coverage and which ones still do not. Wonderful characters, setting, language. Simply excellent and heartfelt.
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Lamar "L. R." Giles writes books for teens and adults. FAKE ID, his debut Young Adult Thriller, will be published by HarperCollins in 2014. He is represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and resides in Chesapeake, VA with his wife.
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