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To quote Jake Peralta of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Good news for all you murder fans!” SPIN is a new whodunit by Lamar Giles about the dark side of fandom.

Before SPIN, Lamar Giles wrote OVERTURNED, ENDANGERED and FAKE ID. SPIN is similar to I WAS BORN FOR THIS by Alice Oseman and I AM PRINCESS X by Cherie Priest. If this music-themed book were a song, it would be “Pretender” by Steve Aoki, Lil Yachty and AJR. SPIN has the same energy as a TV crime drama like “Elementary,” but without all of the predictable clichés where you can guess the murderer in the first 15 minutes.

"I read SPIN in less than 24 hours....this story was original and surprising, and I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming."

Kya was DJ ParSec’s best friend before she became famous. Fuse was DJ ParSec’s social media manager before she was murdered. Kya and Fuse hate each other, but they’re the ones that find Paris Secord, also known as DJ ParSec, dead at her turntables. They definitely didn’t kill Paris...but who did?

The police tell them to go home and focus on school. Their parents tell them they need to rest and process their friend’s shocking death. Fuse’s father tells her to avoid Kya. Kya’s mother tells her to avoid Fuse.

Obviously Kya and Fuse don’t do that.

After Kya and Fuse meet at Paris’s funeral, they get kidnapped by the dark side of ParSec Nation. They realize that the police won’t do much to solve DJ ParSec’s murder and they have to take matters into their own hands to get justice and to avoid the wrath of the Dark Nation. Together, they must navigate the fandom that Fuse created, as well as the side of the fandom she never intended to make. Do Kya and Fuse have a chance at catching the murderer?

I read SPIN in less than 24 hours. The book’s plot had so many twists that kept me guessing. I’ve seen plenty of TV crime dramas, so you could say that I’m a pretty decent sleuth. But this story was original and surprising, and I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming.

Kya and Fuse’s dynamic is also fantastic. Both Kya and Fuse are developed characters and they have strengths that help solve the mystery and their friendship grows throughout the book. There’s always some kind of romance in young adult fiction, but there isn’t much in SPIN. Instead, the focus is on the murder and Kya’s and Fuse’s friendship.

Lamar Giles also does a good job of portraying ParSec Nation realistically, with a good side and a toxic side. There are the fans who just love DJ ParSec’s music and mourn her death, but there are also the fans who will stop at nothing to find DJ ParSec’s killer.

I’d recommend this book to fans of mysteries and music. It’s the perfect book to read while waiting for season five of “Sherlock” (will it ever come?) or after finishing whatever mystery TV show you’re obsessed with. Just make sure you have an airtight alibi.

Reviewed by Ainsley A., Teen Board Member on January 29, 2019

by Lamar Giles