Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore

The horror of discovering her downstairs neighbor's bludgeoned body soon turns to curiosity as a young urban hipster strives to learn about the woman who was more acquaintance than friend - and uncovers a musical mystery that may lead to the real killer.

With a few minor tweaks, this could have been a teen book - as it is, I think it's targeted at the new "young adult" category that's become trendy in publishing: intended for those out of school, but still early in their careers and adulthood.

Jett and her neighbor KitKat live in a super trendy part of Brooklyn where neighbors hardly use cash and instead barter services and goods. Jett's scraping by, working only as a temp but living cheap in her honeymooning grandmother's rent-controlled apartment. Her passion for vintage vinyl means she's shopping the dollar bins and debating whether 1990's solo Sting is hot or not while drinking Two Buck Chuck with her friend-not-boyfriend Sid.

For all its ironic pop culture and snarky musical references, I really enjoyed this book. The mystery at its heart is twisty and dark without an obvious end, and the will-they/won't-they tension with Sid adds a bit of salty-sweet. Super-short chapters keep the action clipping along briskly, and you'll probably burn up iTunes hunting down the lesser-know lyrics and bands spread liberally through the story.

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