Mediocre YA mystery/thriller

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A car crash leaves a 15-year-old dead. Eighteen-year-old Spencer, recovering from injuries, struggles to find out exactly what happened. Did her ex, Ethan, really cause the crash?

THE HEADMASTER’S LIST was a mediocre to average YA mystery/thriller read. I figured out one twist at the very beginning and the second somewhere in the middle of the book, so that took a bit of the enjoyment out of it. A lot of the plot felt cookie-cutter predictable for the genre and the characters could have been more developed. I did like that snippets of the crime podcast were included. That interjected a fun change of pace. The introduction of the nonbinary character felt awkward and came across as though they were included for the sake of checking off a diversity box and not because the author felt that including nonbinary character(s) was actually meaningful. I was disappointed in the way posttraumatic stress was portrayed and the lack of medically addressing this for the character (i.e., professional mental health services) but rather throwing a service dog at the situation immediately, though I see why the dog was included (plot device).

THE HEADMASTER’S LIST would be good for those who enjoy reasonably predictable mystery/thrillers and those who are fans of prep school settings.