The Lost Girl of Astor Street

astor-streetAuthor: Stephanie Morrill

Publisher: Blink YA Books

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Losing your best friend at age 18 is horrible, but in mafia riddled 1924 Chicago, there’s no shortage of suspects as her killer.

At age 18, Piper Sail doesn’t have much to worry about or so it seems. One of the affluent Presley girls, Piper is finishing school and hoping to go to a university so that she can side step all the questions about finding a husband and settling down.  Her father is getting ready to be remarried, which is not one of her favorite topics to discuss.  She and her neighbor Lydia have been friends forever and recently Lydia has started to have seizures.  Instead of getting help, her parents have asked Piper to keep it a secret, even from Lydia.  Lydia herself is smitten with the family’s chauffeur, so when her parent’s want to send her to the Mayo clinic in Minnesota, she is devastated.  Lydia tells Piper that she is going to tell him how she feels and the neighbors that she cannot watch their child this summer.  Then that night, Lydia disappears.

When Piper realizes that Lydia didn’t just run away with the chauffeur, she is determined to find out what happened to her friend. But being a young woman in Chicago is no easy task, especially in 1924.  Piper enters a world of speakeasies, mafia, gambling, and nastier underbelly activities that Chicago has to offer.  Was it the chauffeur?  Why was she afraid of the neighbor kid’s dad?  Why is the handsome detective so interested in her?  Who is her brother’s new girlfriend?  As Piper unrolls the answer to each question, will she be able to find Lydia before it’s too late?  Or was Lydia even the intended target?

This book is truly a great read of YA fiction crossed with historical fiction. This is not something that you will typically see teens reading, but Morrill does a great job of making this an interesting mystery coupled with some unforgettable characters that is sure to be a hit with any audience.  Piper is a determined young woman that many will find they identify with.  She doesn’t believe the police are looking in the right places, so she takes up her own investigation.  What she doesn’t realize is that other female characters in the book begin to admire her.  She becomes a bit of a role model to those characters and will undoubtedly be to some readers as well.

I like that Mariano humored her throughout the book and then fell in love with her. Their chemistry was natural and played out very well.  My only nitpick was that I felt it wrapped up too fast.  I wish there would have been a bit more played out between Piper and Alana, but I also realize that you can’t draw out too much without possibly losing this genre’s attention.  A must read for YA historical fiction lovers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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