"Beautiful clothes, bad habits, ugly secrets: Sherri L. Smith probes the vulnerable underbellies of a lot of toothy sharks in this page-turning California noir."—E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars
Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.
When Jude's best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.
Now everyone is a suspect—family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that's the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude's got a few skeletons of her own.
In a homage to the great noir stories of Los Angeles, award-winning author Sherri L. Smith's Pasadena is a tale of love, damage and salvation set against the backdrop of California's City of Roses.
With her best friend dead in an apparent suicide, a 17-year-old girl with demons of her own sets out to uncover what really happened in Smith's deeply tragic and darkly humorous tale. Jude isn't even in California when she learns that Maggie Kim is dead, found floating in the family pool, full of pills. When she arrives back in Pasadena, Jude is enveloped in the cloud of loss that hangs over Maggie's friends, who scrabble to claim a spot as number one mourner. Positive that her friend wouldn't commit suicide, Jude who, through Smith's keen narrative voice, is a sharp and often biting observer of human nature tries to reconstruct Maggie's final days, pulling from her own memories of a friend who knew her like no one else. Turns out, Maggie played that role for several people, yet no one truly knew her, an often heartbreaking paradox of teenage friendship that Smith (Orleans) explores deftly. The answers Jude seeks matter far less than the painful journey of a tough character who comes to terms with something deeper than grief. Ages 14 up.