Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is . . . eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old book about reading tea leaves and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows—and hopes everyone else does too—that none of it’s real.
Then basketball star Matt Cotrell asks for a reading. He’s been getting emails from someone claiming to be his best friend, Andrea Quinley, who disappeared and is presumed dead. And while they’d always denied they were romantically involved, a cloud of suspicion now hangs over Matt. But Marnie sees a kindred spirit: someone who, like her, is damaged by association.
Suddenly, the readings seem real. And, despite the fact that they’re telling Marnie things about Matt that make him seem increasingly dangerous, she can’t shake her initial attraction to him. In fact, it’s getting stronger. And that could turn out to be deadly.
Praise for The Leaf Reader
"Skillfully constructed . . . Arsenault never pushes the supernatural angle too hard, letting Marnie, and the reader, skate on the suspenseful edge of skepticism and belief."
—The New York Times Book Review
“The clues come fast and furious in The Leaf Reader and Arsenault does an excellent job of slowly rolling out the supernatural aspects of Marnie’s ‘talent’ . . . A mystery that offers all teens could want in smart and supernatural writing.”
“Emily Arsenault, known for weaving haunting tales in adult mysteries, brings her knack for subtle suspense to a younger audience in this rewarding YA debut.”
“Intriguing and suspenseful, the mystery and the cast of characters kept us guessing from the first page to the last. And now we’re more than a little interested in tea leaf fortune telling…”
“A twisty, delicious young-adult thriller.”
“A solid foray into YA . . . The incorporation of tea-leaf reading, including the ceremony and symbolism of the art, adds a distinctive element to a mystery that’s well worth a read.”
“Arsenault's page-ripping whodunit not only will send readers running for their tea kettles, but packs the thrill of self-discovery and acceptance amid base adversity: a rich, rewarding teen debut.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“More eerie than frightening, this is an atmospheric tale laced with hints of magic. Thoughtful, careful Marnie and her hobby-turned-calling will endear themselves to readers looking for a slowly unfolding mystery.”
“This is a solid teen mystery with a slow build and hints of the supernatural. Readers will be left guessing until the very last page.”
—School Library Journal
“A tightly crafted, suspense-filled thriller . . . While the mystery itself is intriguing enough, the murder and its cause bring up serious issue of class, and once readers catch their breath they’ll have plenty to ponder about the relationship between privilege and crime and punishment.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Left me guessing until the last, utterly delicious page! I loved the heroine’s cynical sense of humor, while fearing for her every minute of this taut, deftly written thriller about a community that clearly cares only for a certain kind of girl. Emily Arsenault is a YA writer to watch!”
—Meg Cabot, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries
“Arsenault's debut YA is an entertaining, potent brew of sinister secrets, convincing twists, and no shortage of suspects. Teen fans of old-school crime masters like Agatha Christie and Lois Duncan will happily drink this up.”
—James Klise, Edgar Award–winning author of The Art of Secrets
“Mysterious and romantic, full of twists and revelations that kept me turning pages long into the night, The Leaf Reader is one of those special books I hadn’t even known I’d been searching for.”
—Kara Thomas, author of The Darkest Corners
Praise for Emily Arsenault
“Emily Arsenault’s mysteries are so much fun.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Absorbing . . . Ms. Arsenault here reveals strange truths beneath everyday surfaces.”
—The Wall Street Journal, 10 Best Mysteries of the Year