Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Lamar Giles
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Nikki Tate is the clever daughter of Nathan Tate, a world-renowned poker player who has been wrongly convicted of murder. When Nathan is released, he is determined to discover the identity of the true killer. Meanwhile, Nikki uses her incredible skill at cards in illegal poker games. Nathan is found murdered in an alley, and Nikki becomes obsessed with discovering the truth about his death. As her poker connections and dogged determination lead her deep into the dark underbelly of crime, Nikki must rely on her friends and her street smarts to discover the murderer before she is killed. Despite dangers and betrayals, Nikki is able to pull off the ultimate hustle, revealing her father’s killer and sending him to jail.
Lamar Giles’s Overturned is a thrilling murder mystery that readers won’t be able to put down. Nikki Tate is a wonderfully vivid character who is both relatable and impressive to the audience. Readers will thoroughly enjoy following Nikki as she endures the death of her father, blows to her reputation, and the development of her personal relationships. Though Nikki experiences moments of despair, she is ultimately able to conquer them with her grit and determined attitude. Giles masterfully captures the voice of a teenage African-American girl and maintains a spunky tone throughout the novel. The action is both unexpected and highly enjoyable to read. Overturned is a refreshing take on a modern-day murder mystery, and readers will praise Nikki’s wit and perseverance all the way until the thrilling conclusion.