‘Grade A Stupid’ is a refreshing YA story told from the main character, Darcy Walker’s, point of view during a particularly adventurous episode in her teen life. What makes it so refreshing is that it will appeal to any age group, both young and not-so-young, and there is not a vampire to be found within a mile (sparkly or not).
Darcy attends Valley High and lives with her father, Murphy, and their longtime housekeeper, Claudia. Her life, according to her, is pretty average. She, however, is not your average teen, much to her father’s chagrin. Having been graced/cursed (depending on who you ask) with insatiable curiosity and an inability to keep her nose out of trouble, Darcy seems to jump from the frying pan into the fire at every turn.
The story opens by tossing you right into the middle of Darcy-ville (as she calls it) and the action begins almost immediately. Her disaster-magnet draws her very quickly into an unfortunate meeting with Dumpster Dude, less than friendly interactions with a few nefarious characters, and some necessary subterfuge to get the facts needed to clear an innocent classmate.
Along the way, she is joined by a motley crew of associates who range from those trying to keep her on a leash for her own good, those trying to woo her for reasons she herself cannot fathom, and those who merrily (and quite skillfully, much to her surprise) aid her in her efforts to unmask the real villain.
Darcy is a tenacious bloodhound, once on the scent, and she is determined to clear a person she believes is innocent. Add into the mix, a sacred cookie that goes missing, a best friend who goes AWOL when needed most, and a secret she will tell no one, not even the reader, and you have a rip roaring adventure you won’t want to put down until you learn whodunnit.
AJ Lape’s writing style is an enticing mix of teen-speak, witty internal thoughts, and cheeky external dialogue, all wrapped in a well crafted murder mystery full of twists and turns. By the end of the book, I was a solid fan of both Darcy Walker and the author. I am eagerly awaiting book two, which is due out soon, so I can continue to enjoy this entertaining character on her next adventure.
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