“you're nothing but a product. and what's this product called? emptiness, dude, that's what it's called. and for the rest of your life, they sell you over and over, right to the end when they package you one last time and plant you in the ground.”
This mystery for the 12 and up crowd is told by a boy who is a bit on the fringe of things at his school, not an outcast but not popular, obtuse and a bit selfish, who wishes for instant fame and glory aka mojo. Not a bad description of your average teenage kid. He literally falls into a mystery when he hides in a dumpster to outrun some older teen thugs, and discovers he's sharing the space with a dead classmate. After getting past the fact that he is initially a suspect, he gets embroiled in another mystery, the disappearance of a girl his age from a cushy prep school. Are these events connected? I read this book with my ears and found the plot engaging with a neat twist at the end. Because the rich kids in this book come off as terminally superficial and entitled, it would be interesting to get reactions from affluent suburban kids. Dylan, our sleuth, begins with values just as superficial as those of his rich counterparts, but in the course of the story he does grow and mature. I would put this book on my junior high library shelf and would gladly booktalk it to youngsters who like mysteries.