Review: Investigating Julius Drake by Daisy Harris

Note: This ARC was provided by Riptide Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Investigating Julius Drake is a young adult (YA) novel written by author Daisy Harris. This isn't my first read from the author but the books I've read in the past were more new adult (NA), and I was curious to see how she would fare writing a story that had younger characters, and hello, she fared quite nicely, if I do say so myself. This was such a quirky and witty coming of age story with a mystery angle that had me looking at almost every character as a potential suspect. As I tried to unravel the mystery that the main characters were trying to solve, the mysteries that were the main characters themselves, especially the eponymous title character. This one is definitely on my list of my favorite YA reads of any genre for 2016.

Fourteen-year-old Henry Walker has just transferred to a new school and on his first day, the school has already made quite an impression on him. Or maybe it's just one student in particular: his fellow freshman, the peculiarly fascinating Julius Drake. They form an unlikely friendship when they both become involved in the attempted suicide of a senior who bullied them during lunch. Julius tells Henry that he needs to clear his name in order to not have to deal with what he knows will be backlash from his parents. The two then embark on an investigative mission to find out what happened with Hal. However, something happens to another senior, and Henry and Julius know they need to get answers sooner rather than later. But as the two get closer to the truth, will Henry be able to face up and admit to his own truth?

I may not be the target audience for YA literature, but I have a soft spot for this genre and when they're able to transcend the whole age thing, then they're all the more special in my eyes. This was such a uniquely creative story, one that had Henry helping Julius out, trying to uncover the truth about what's been going with a couple of students in their school, and in the process, Henry finally lifts the veil on a truth he hasn't acknowledged about himself. Henry was your typical fourteen-year-old, and his awkwardness and the growing pains he was experiencing--and that his mother and his other new friends were experiencing alongside him--made him easy to empathize with. And then there was Julius, who was an enigma but one that touched me because of his self-awareness when it came to his being an outsider. I can't say enough good things about Investigating Julius Drake but I do hope giving it five stars will suffice! ♥

Date Read: 05 October 2016

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