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The Initial Insult
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The Initial Insult
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In the first book of a suspenseful YA duology, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and masterfully delivers a dark, propulsive mystery in alternating points of...
In the first book of a suspenseful YA duology, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and masterfully delivers a dark, propulsive mystery in alternating points of...
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Description-

  • In the first book of a suspenseful YA duology, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and masterfully delivers a dark, propulsive mystery in alternating points of view that unravels a friendship . . . forevermore. Perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Truly Devious!

    Tress Montor's family used to mean something—until she didn't have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. The entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the "White Trash Zoo."

    Felicity Turnado has it all: looks, money, and a secret. One misstep could send her tumbling from the top of the social ladder, and she's worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors the night they disappeared. Felicity has buried what she knows so deeply that she can't even remember what it is . . . only that she can't look at Tress without feeling shame and guilt.

    But Tress has a plan. A Halloween costume party at an abandoned house provides the ideal situation for Tress to pry the truth from Felicity—brick by brick—as she slowly seals her former best friend into a coal chute. Tress will have her answers—or settle for revenge.

About the Author-

  • Mindy McGinnis is the author of Not a Drop to Drink and its companion, In a Handful of Dust, as well as This Darkness Mine, The Female of the Species, Given to the Sea, Heroine, and the Edgar Award–winning novel A Madness So Discreet. A graduate of Otterbein University with a BA in English literature and religion, Mindy lives in Ohio. You can visit her online at www.mindymcginnis.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2020
    Tress would kill to find out why her parents disappeared. In small-town Amontillado, Tress Montor had a seemingly normal life until her parents disappeared. That was seven years ago. Now living with her negligent grandfather at his questionable exotic animal attraction, the high school senior has become a pariah among her classmates. The one person who may know what happened is Felicity Turnado, who not only used to be best friends with Tress, but was the last one to see her parents alive. Told in alternating chapters from each girl's perspective, this thriller starts off as a slow burn with longer chapters establishing their personalities; the nature of the closed-minded, predominantly White town; and the mysterious disappearance. When Tress, bent on truth and revenge, sets up an interrogation of Felicity reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado," the story accelerates evenly with shorter, taut chapters delivering the final shocks. The narrative's changing timeline, as each girl remembers events from the past, answers questions and raises intrigue in equal measure; their experiences are gritty reflections of teen life. And in the true spirit of Poe, a black cat, in this case a panther from the zoo, adds another level of creepiness with intermittent free-verse poems told from its perspective. A sudden, nail-biting ending leaves the door open for the next installment of this duology. A dark, Poe-inspired thriller that lives up to the gothic master. (Thriller. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    December 1, 2020
    Grades 10-12 In this gothic thriller, first in a duology, McGinnis cleverly weaves elements from Edgar Allen Poe's stories to chronicle the dissolution of a friendship, culminating in a shocking act of vengeance. In Amontillado, Ohio, legacy is everything; founding families are venerated, even as their stately homes decay and their bloodlines wither. Those who can't fulfill expectations are shunned--like Tress, whose parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her friend Felicity home, leaving Tress in the dubious care of her outcast uncle. Tress has never believed that Felicity, found unconscious, remembers nothing, especially when Felicity turned her back on Tress like everyone else. Now a senior, Tress has the perfect plan to force Felicity to tell the truth: it involves a Halloween party at an abandoned estate, a set of manacles, a coal chute, and a ton of bricks. Tress and Felicity both narrate this nail-biter, providing compelling and competing narratives that create empathy for damaged, unlikable characters. Though occasionally straining credulity, the slowly unfolding mystery and chilling cliff-hanger will cement interest for the next volume.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from December 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Tress Montor lost everything the night her parents disappeared seven years ago: her family, her friends, and the respect her last name usually demands in the town of Amontillado. Now she lives on the Amontillado Animal Sanctuary-what the locals call "the White Trash Zoo"-with her alcoholic grandfather Cecil and a motley assortment of animals. The town has turned its back on her, and she wants answers-or revenge. Felicity Turnado doesn't have a storied surname and everything that's perfect in her life she's earned on her own: her grades, her popularity, and the respect of the community. What isn't perfect is that her former best friend, Tress, won't even look at her. Felicity was with the Montors the night they vanished, but she's worked so hard to make the community forget she was there that she herself doesn't remember what happened. Sick of being the butt of everyone's jokes, Tress has a plan to get Felicity to talk-one that involves a costume party in the crumbling Usher House, an empty coal chute, and a pile of bricks. McGinnis draws heavily upon the works of Edgar Allan Poe to deliver a gripping modern retelling of "The Cask of Amontillado." Tress and Felicity are expertly fleshed out; the chapters are written from alternating viewpoints of the two girls across their entire friendship. Their linked tragedy and trauma is expressed in prose that is by turns gritty and heart-rending, and they join a lineup of strong, flawed, and intriguing McGinnis main characters. As the first book in a duology, the story ends in a cliff-hanger, which heightens anticipation for the second installment. Most characters are white. VERDICT Well-versed Poe fans will gobble this up, but the heartache, revenge, and anger that ooze from these pages should entice any reader.-Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn P.L.

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • James Patterson "McGinnis draws heavily upon the works of Edgar Allan Poe to deliver a gripping modern retelling of "The Cask of Amontillado." Tress and ­Felicity are expertly fleshed out. Their linked tragedy and trauma is expressed in prose that is by turns gritty and heart-rending, and they join a lineup of strong, flawed, and intriguing McGinnis main characters. As the first book in a duology, the story ends in a cliff-hanger, which heightens anticipation for the second installment. Well-versed Poe fans will gobble this up, but the heartache, revenge, and ­anger that ooze from these pages should ­entice any reader."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "An intricate, duology-opening story of mystery and revenge by McGinnis with significant nods to Edgar Allan Poe's macabre work. An engaging tale."
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review) "McGinnis cleverly weaves elements from Edgar Allen Poe's stories... The slowly unfolding mystery and chilling cliff-hanger will cement interest for the next volume."
  • Publishers Weekly "A wickedly disturbing and wildly entertaining tale of vengeance, guilt, and secrets. Poe enthusiasts will appreciate McGinnis' adherence to her inspiration's darkness."
  • Globe and Mail (Toronto) "The elevator pitch is "Poe's Cask of Amontillado meets Tiger King" and that's exactly what this book delivers. McGinnis has crafted an artful tire fire that burns so bright and hot that I couldn't look away. My only complaint is the devastation I felt at the end when I realized this is the first book in a duology and I have to wait for the conclusion."
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "If Edgar Allan Poe came back to write the scariest high school murder story ever, it probably wouldn't be half as good as Mindy McGinnis's The Initial Insult. You must read this book!"
  • Kirkus Reviews "Expertly crafted and absolutely chilling. Mindy McGinnis holds nothing back in this twisty, ruthlessly compelling story of a friendship gone wrong."
  • Karen M. McManus, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying "Lush, dangerous, and deliciously twisty, The Initial Insult is an Appalachian Gothic for the ages. A smart and vital reworking of one of Poe's most chilling stories."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) "McGinnis gracefully avoids the pitfalls of creating a teenage vigilante, instead maintaining a sense of piercing realism."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "An unflinching look at rape culture and its repercussions."
  • School Library Journal "This is an astoundingly dark but beautifully written tragedy."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A compassionate, compelling, and terrifying story about a high school softball player's addiction to opioids. The writing is visceral, and following Mickey as she rationalizes about her addiction is educative and frightening. A cautionary tale that exposes the danger of prescription medications by humanizing one victim of America's current epidemic."
  • New York Times Book Review Praise for Be Not Far from Me: "McGinnis' visceral and emotional tale features a strong, stubborn, and alarmingly capable protagonist with unwavering respect for the natural world... Impossible to put down."
  • Brittany Cavallaro, New York Times bestselling author of the Charlotte Holmes series "McGinnis is known for writing tough female protagonists and gritty realism, and she holds nothing back in this latest novel. Ashley is angry, vulnerable, smart, and compelling, and her journey is marked by setbacks, terror, and plenty of gross-out moments. This captivating, fast-paced novel is Hatchet for an older crowd. Highly recommended where adventure and survival fiction are popular."
  • School Library Journal Praise for...

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