Promise Boys is a unique, smart, and intriguing mystery creatively written for a YA audience. The story is primarily told through the perspective of the three main teenage suspects in the murder of the strict principal at their highly acclaimed charter school. Additionally, there are text messages, police transcripts, media articles and short chapters from family, friends and acquaintances peppered throughout that provide additional context. The first half of the book expertly draws the reader in to the situation, while the second half of the book brings the main characters together to solve the mystery and save themselves.
Although the mystery itself isn’t overcomplicated, it’s perfectly written and constructed for a younger audience. I’m amazed at how well Nick Brooks not only crafted the mystery, but effortlessly tied in themes of adolescence, friendship, race, and socioeconomics, without being preachy.
I’m glad to have been introduced to Nick Brooks’ work and look forward to following him in the future.