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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In Q & A by Carolyn R. Russell, readers learn that Quinn Bard doesn’t like her new home, new town, or new school. She wants to return to her old home in Boston. Everyone else in the family is happy with the move. Her sister Arista loves it, or perhaps it’s the cute boy next door who attracts her attention. When Mom enrolls Quinn in an Eco Trooper Club in the hope of helping the young girl settle into her new home, little does she know that the entire family will be dragged into a conspiracy that’s at the heart of the club’s mission, and something sinister that drives the leader, Nadine. It doesn’t help when a girl she doesn’t know hands Quinn a mysterious note, warning her to “Leave and don’t come back.” Enlisting the support of her sister, they delve deeper into the club’s activities, drawing in others to help as they fight against time to uncover the cause of the weird happenings. Nadine has an uncanny control over the members of the group and the plan that will ultimately destroy some of the families associated with it.
Carolyn R. Russell’s teen novel Q & A is a clever and quirky mystery for young readers. The title in itself is captivating and one might think it refers to questions and answers. Perhaps it does, but it’s also the initials of the two sisters, Quinn and Arista (love the names). The story is told in the first person from Quinn’s point of view and reads something like a teen journal as the young girl reveals the happenings that draw her deeper into an unusual mystery. The plot follows Quinn’s daily routine as she tries to settle into a new hometown that she hates and a weird club that baffles her immensely. It’s a messy routine, but it’s Quinn’s life as she sees it. As Quinn, her sister, and the others who join their troupe navigate the quagmire of unbelievable circumstances, the young people become entangled in some humorous situations, making this an amusing mystery read.