Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Teen Tuesday

Code Red (Faith Flores Science Mysteries  #2) by Janie Chodosh (Poisoned Pen trade paperback, 7 February 2017).

Faith Flores, the science whiz we met in Death Spiral, has flourished while living with her Aunt T. in West Philadelphia.  

Here, we meet her upon her arrival at St. John's College in Albuquerque the residence for ten teens who have been chosen from around the country to act as summer interns in various fields of study.  Faith will be spending the summer at the fictional Salazar Center for Plant Genomics.  

She doesn't expect to make any friends, but almost as soon as she arrives, she connects with an attractive young local named Clem, a violinist who has won the music internship several years in a row.
During their orientation, the teens are warned about a new designer drug on the streets.  Called "liquid gold", it's derived from a local plant and used not only for recreational purposes, but also as as a date-rape drug.  

Faith has another goal while she's in Albuquerque: to find her father.  According to a newspaper clipping she'd found in her late mother's things, he'd been arrested on a drug charge there two years earlier.  

The story is an enjoyable read that is difficult to put down.  Faith is an engaging protagonist, smart and driven, but not without faults.  Due to her background, she is slow to trust and easily spooked.  It's encouraging to see a young woman who is interested  -- and successful -- in a scientific field.  Also refreshing is that her supervisor is female.

Code Red can be read as a standalone, but do read Death Spiral first in order to fully appreciate Faith's journey.

Many thanks to the author for sending me an Advance Review Copy.

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