Friday Barnes is unnoticed by everyone she crosses paths with, and is even neglected by her own parents. She literally raised herself through the secluded world of books, learned languages with language tapes, and made her only friends with long-dead authors. But when she solves a mystery of a missing diamond and is rewarded with a hefty sum of money, she sends herself to boarding school – the best school in the country, in fact – to set herself on a different path than her physics-obsessed family. While at Highcrest Academy, Friday finds her true calling – solving mysteries. Why should the wealthy students of Highcrest Academy struggle to solve their own problems when they could pay her to do it for them? As Friday is solving mysteries involving fake tans, stolen clocks, fights, missing homework, dog poop, and delicious lemon tarts and chocolate-chip cookies, she meets her confidante in roommate Melanie Pelly, and an extreme annoyance in a popular & rich girl Mirabella. But she garners the attention of one Ian Wainscott, who resembles a Greek God in Friday’s eyes.. who quickly becomes Friday’s nemesis (and maybe crush, because who knows?) But Friday’s biggest mystery yet presents itself to her.. The students have been whispering about a yeti in the swamp, and to quench the gossip in an effective way (and to also avoid lawsuits from the students’ parents) the Headmaster asks Friday to find out the truth, once and for all, about the “yeti,” in return for a large reward – the Headmaster will pay for Friday’s first semester at the boarding school next year. Will Ian and Friday admit that they’re madly in love with each other? Will she find out who or what the “yeti” is? Or is this mystery too tough for Friday to crack?
First of all, I just want to say that I hate cliffhangers – I love them, but I hate them. But unrelated to the horrible cliffhanger, I want to add that this book is extremely creative. I couldn’t have guessed how to solve any of the mysteries (well, I had an inkling about one, but anyway..) – the author was extremely creative with creating solutions to the mysteries. The foundation of the plot was cliché, and some of the characters were – the mean girl Mirabella could have been explored more, but she was represented by a mean girl stereotype. I do think Ian was really well developed throughout the book, and I thought I could really relate to Friday (I’m not a genius, but still) in ways that I didn’t expect. She’s a layered character, and I really liked reading about her, with all of her quirks from the brown cardigans and the silly green hat that fell to her eyes. I was on the edge of my seat when I was reading this book, even though I had promised myself I was only going to read up to this page, I often couldn’t resist reading more, it was all so exciting! This book had so much suspense throughout, and it was a really quick read for me – I really enjoyed it, more than I would expect myself to (I normally don’t like mysteries unless it’s Agatha Christie.) I recommend it to high-elementary to low-middle school readers or just about anyone who enjoys mystery books with strong, smart female characters. Who doesn’t?