Steal away with ‘Frenemy’


Published: Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.

Guilty until proven innocent.

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“My Own Worst Frenemy” by Kimberly Reid, c. 2011, Dafina Teen, $9.95, 256 pages. (Special to the Guardian)

That's what you feel like sometimes, just for the "crime" of being a teenager. You catch blame for things you didn't do, you're looked upon with suspicion, followed for SWBT (Shopping While Being Teen), accused of all kinds of trouble, and are generally mistrusted — all because of your age.

You're a good person, and so is Chanti Evans. She's in school, has a job and works hard. There's no reason for anybody to think bad about her. She's smart, trustworthy, and responsible, but in the new book, "My Own Worst Frenemy" by Kimberly Reid, one of those almost gets her killed.

For the first time in a long time, Chanti was not looking forward to this fall.

It all started when her old school closed and was enfolded into a bigger school. Lana, Chanti's mother, seized the opportunity to transfer Chanti to Langdon, a private school filled with insanely rich students. Chanti was one of three scholarship students — a first for the academy — and everybody knew it.

Langdon's leader, Headmistress Smythe, definitely has it out for Chanti. But does she hate her enough to frame her for theft?

When a fancy pen goes missing, then a laptop, a diamond bracelet, and a few other expensive things, the new kids — especially Chanti — catch the blame.

But then the thefts get bigger and a few of Chanti's secrets spill out among Langdon's student population. That's when Chanti figures that the only way she'll be found innocent is to prove it herself.

Like Nancy Drew for the next generation, author Kimberly Reid's new character is smart, smooth and sassy, a sleuth with style and snap. Moreover, Chanti doesn't miss a thing when it comes to crime, which means that no teen crime solver should miss this book. Meant for tweens and teens 12 to 17 years of age, "My Own Worst Frenemy" can absolutely be enjoyed by adults, too. Grab this book, and you will surely be guilty of stealing time to read it.

Terri Schlichenmeyer never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

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