Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

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No Bad Deed

What people mean to do, and the result of those actions, creates a life-altering tailspin of consequences for one family in No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez.

On her way home one night, Dr. Cassie Larkin sees a man attacking a woman on the side of the road. The scene triggers a moment in her past in which Cassie saw something wrong but did nothing. She pulls over, calls 911 and gets out of her vehicle to try to intervene. Cassie struggles with the man over his victim's body. Police sirens are heard. Before escaping in Cassie's car, the man, Carver Sweet, tells Cassie, "Let her die, and I'll let you live." She doesn't hesitate to stabilize the woman until help arrives, though. The woman survives. Carver mercilessly targets Cassie, her husband and their two kids: he hacks the family's social media account and clones their cell phones; the family is assaulted, kidnapped and poisoned. Yet the police seem to suspect Cassie is behind it all. Unable to trust the authorities, Cassie must keep herself and her family alive while facing down the hard truth that everything happening to her and her family was set in motion long ago.

Debut author Heather Chavez takes a vicious swipe at the Good Samaritan concept with a tumultuous story of the consequences of best intentions. Her prose has a strange and quirky obsession with plants and bugs, but her scrappy female heroine and the breakneck speed in which Chavez unfolds her story make No Bad Deed an exceptional read. --Paul Dinh-McCrillis, freelance reviewer