Uninvitedby Leah Spiegel and Meg Summers
Series: South Hills Sidekicks #1
Publication date: February 11th 2012
Genre: Humorous YA Chick-LitWhen Alley started her senior year at Upper East High in the South Hills area, it was supposed to be the usual drag of hanging out with people who spent more on one outfit than Alley did on her entire wardrobe. That was until Kirsten, a girl in their clique, suddenly goes missing and the only people who seem to care are her friends.All evidence leads to the new comer Shane, a cocky and self-pretentious person in Alley’s opinion, but the police seem uninterested so she and the rest of the girls start a little investigation of their own. But they are nowhere closer to finding Kirsten than when they started and now they had the police’s attention; just not in the way they expected. The girls have to start over and discover that maybe it wasn’t an outsider who took Kirsten, but someone within their own clique who has something to hide; a secret that just might have gotten Kirsten killed.
REVIEWWhat a fun book! Alley is part of one of the “popular” girls in high school, except that this label comes by association with her BFF, the klutzy, crazy, impulsive, Val. Alley can take or leave most of the other girls but when one of them goes missing, they band together to try and figure out what happened.Uninvited is a young adult amateur sleuth story with a mystery, a forbidden romance, and your typical array of teen issues such as drug use, bullying, mean girls, friendship, and family relationships.I was drawn into the story immediately because of Alley’s voice, which is told from first person point of view, which is my personal favorite. I enjoyed all the characters but it was really Shane, Alley’s love interest, who kept me reading. I loved how they verbally sparred, how he grew to care for Alley, and how she grew to depend on him as the story progressed. They don’t even get to first base in this book, but it’s got great build-up and even though it should technically not even be possible for the two of them to be together (can’t tell you why, that’s a spoiler!) I secretly hoped he’d kiss her the entire time. I will probably pick up the next book just so I can see how this plays out because it’s got an interesting little twist in the first chapter, which is included at the end of Uninvited.I did not guess the mystery so that really held my attention the entire time and I enjoyed the setting because I had relatives who lived in South Hills when I was kid. You don’t see many novels set in Pittsburgh, so for me, that was fun.I highly recommend this read, it’s clean, it’s fun, and it’s got a bunch of good messages for teens. I also loved the style of writing – Leah Spiegel and Meg Summers really have a fun character voice going and their writing is easy to follow and not filled with a lot of extra words (as can sometimes be the case) that detract from the actual storytelling. Pick it up, if you enjoy a fun mystery with great characters!
AUTHOR BIOAlthough we moved down to North Carolina several years ago, we’re originally from the Pittsburgh area. (That’s why a lot of our characters either live in the Burgh or reference our hometown football team, The Pittsburgh Steelers.) And yes, we even have the Southern accents to show for it now. Although Megan’s is considerable thicker, Leah still can’t understand the locals.
We are known as ‘the sisters’ among our neighborhood; when actually we’re probably really known as ‘the sisters with the Yorkies’. Our pups, Skippy Jon Jones and Captain Jack Sparrow, were given long names to compensate for their small size but not their large personalities.If Leah’s not glued to her electronic devices, AKA her Kindle Fire and various laptops, you can find her training ‘the attack dogs’, running on the treadmill while conceiving the next great book idea with the Dave Matthews Band, Muse, Florence and the Machine, The Lumineers, and Pink (just to name a few) blaring out of her earphones.If Megan’s not glued to her electronic devices AKA her iPad and Nook Color, you can find her teaching fourth graders, swimming marathon style at the pool, or cuddling with ‘the attack dogs’ as she watches Duck Dynasty, Gold Rush, Scandal, Person of Interest, Morning Joe, etc.
Leah graduated from Edinboro University with a BA in Art Education.
Megan received her teaching degree from Edinboro University and Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Technology from Grand Canyon University.