Brandy's Reviews > The Writing on the Wall

The Writing on the Wall by Wendy Lichtman
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's review
Nov 01, 2009

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bookshelves: 2009, for-reviews, mystery, teen, realistic, middle-grade

8th grade math whiz Tess can't resist a puzzle--which is why the "Four 4s" graffiti on the back of the church intrigues her so much. First solving the equations and then cracking the code, Tess gets drawn into investigating a classroom fire that had occurred a few weeks earlier. But her investigations lead her into some shady doings herself, resulting in a number of consequences her number-based brain never anticipated.

This is the sequel to an earlier book I haven't read, but it give a little background on what happened in the first book, as that situation isn't fully resolved yet. The gimmick of the math problems is incorporated well enough into the plot, but is still a little clunky. None of the characters are all that dynamic (one can hope that happened in the first book?). The heart on the cover and the blindingly pink endpapers make this a girlier pick than it needs to be, and the 8th-grade characters read more like 5th or 6th grade. This isn't a series I'll be adding to my library collection, but it might work somewhere else.

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