Title:   Elektra’s Adventures in Tragedy
Author:   Douglas Rees
Genre:   YA
Rating:   4 out of 5

Elektra is happily becoming a Southern belle in a small Mississippi college town where here father is a professor—and an expert on Greek mythology—and her mother is a struggling wannabe writer. Then, without warning, her mom packs Elektra and her sister in the car to move to California.

They end up in Guadalupe Slough, a tiny community outside of San Jose that’s filled with a lot of colorful people. Home is a decrepit houseboat on a mudflat, complete with a pet tarantula. Elektra will do anything to get back to Mississippi and her father, even if it means stealing, but she soon finds out there’s more to what’s going on than meets the eye.

So…I enjoyed this book. For one thing, because it’s one of the few YA books I’ve read without a strong romance plot. Elektra is an interesting character. She starts off pretty self-centered and kind of a spoiled brat but being in a different environment and learning new things is good for her, as are the interesting people she meets. She ends up being much more aware of what’s going on around her, and much more caring as well.

The setting and secondary characters are a little flat, without a lot of details or description. I never had a clear picture of Guadalupe Slough apart from dusty and dry. There’s an interesting mix of secondary characters, but they’re a little one-dimensional. Even so, this was a quick, pleasant read.

Douglas Rees is a children’s librarian and the author of 15 children’s books. Elektra’s Adventures in Tragedy is his newest novel.

(Galley provided by Running Press Kids in exchange for an honest review.)

Published by Misti Pyles