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Stacey L. Pierson’s Vale is a YA paranormal murder mystery about a group of teens who are all hiding something regarding the disappearance of an old friend.

The first thing that struck me about this book was the TV-script style of Stacey’s writing. It reads like I’m watching a television show; the layout, the immediacy of the writing, the fast pace, is all reminiscent of a TV show. And it works perfectly for the large cast. 

The second thing that struck me was how well Stacey has characterized Vale High School. The High School itself feels like a living organism, as all the students are described in dispassionate terms of how they function in the school. And the school feels like it’s watching them.

Lastly, I love how Charles’s epilepsy is drawn. Stacey has mentioned this aspect of the book is #ownvoices and it reads as an authentic portrayal. So many books that feature characters with disabilities or conditions make a big deal about the disability/condition, but Charles is just allowed to be a regular character who is in no way different from the rest of the cast. 

Double lastly, that twist at the end was totally unexpected! 

Overall, Vale is an engaging read that I definitely recommend to those who love YA and mystery.

One Comment

  1. Sounds like it’s writing is idiosyncratic enough that it is able to carry a lot of it. Also great to have disability representation without saying “Hey I made a character with a disability, isn’t that cool?”

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