"Dancing with a Dead Horse" by Danielle DeVor is an excellent and enthralling crime story for young adults.
16 year old Jason tries to get on with his teenage life as good as he can. He is pestered by his mother, a Russian ballet teacher - who I absolutely loved as very colourful and amusing character.
Of course, for Jason she is mostly annoying.
Jason finds the dead body of a popular girl at school and becomes a suspect (due to some mysterious little horse figure left in his locker).
As you can see, there is a lot going on that makes the book a well rounded and interesting book about teenage life.
Jason narrates his story himself, which allows for some great observational humour, wit and insight into the perspective of a young person, a perspective that I seriously enjoyed.
When the murder turns into one of many things become more involved.
I absolutely loved this book for its dialogue and the characters (another favourite of mine was the Russian Mafia uncle).
Issues, such as annoying parents and family life from the young perspective are handled with sensitivity and great awareness without distracting from the main crime plot too much.
DeVor seems a natural story teller who knows how to engage her audience. Very well done.