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Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex -Carole P. Roman 

Grady Whill and Aarush Patel are best friends – they may have their quirks but that never seemed to matter when they are together. They look out for each other and make the two halves of a team.

Templeton Academy is THE most prestigious high school, and it comes to no one’s surprise that Aarush is accepted. But then, Grady also is extended an invitation. And the school bully.

How odd. Puzzling.

For someone who never thought he was anything special, Grady now has a one-way ticket to a gold-plated future (if he can keep his bully at bay).

But there’s something a little off about the school, and the others who are accepted. Something is a bit more sinister than Grady ever would have anticipated…and he’s about to find out – one way or another.

Full disclosure here, I had the absolute honor and privilege of being a beta reader for this book. I had such a fun time reading the early draft then going through it again in its fully published form.

I really enjoyed the development of Grady’s and Aarush’s characters. I always love, love, love the transformation arcs in tween and teen novels, watching the characters grow and find their confidence hits that sweet spot for me every time.

This book has elements that I’ve long adored – the peculiar boarding school, mysterious powers and (of course) evil lurking beneath the surface – but the way they were combined felt fresh and exciting.

I also appreciated the author’s hand when dealing with the hard-hitting issues of middle school. There’s the usual bullying focused weight or other general insecurities, and the added complexity of autism and asthma. I feel like often such areas tend to be a bit too hard or not explored in a satisfactory way, and yet Roman’s finesse allowed for the issues to be dealt with appropriately, thoroughly and in a relatable way for readers.

The pace of the book was fast but not clipped – I felt wholly happy with the balance between plot progression and all those lovely tiny details.

Overall, I truly enjoyed my time between these pages and am crossing my fingers for a sequel to come out soon…like now! 

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