Gideon Green in Black and White
– Katie Henry –
Katherine Tegen Books
Published 17 May 2022
When you laugh at the dedication and then snort laugh and fist pump at the end of the first chapter you know you are going to love the book and laugh a lot. Which is exactly how it went down reading Gideon Green in Black and White. Looking at the author, who is the author of some of my all time favourite and go-to humour novels, it’s no surprise that this book is funny. Like really, unexpectedly, dry-humour funny. But what was surprising was the mystery (very cool), sleuthing, totally platonic male-female best friend relationship (finally, yes!!) and cute but not attention demanding, just perfect romance.
I love it when you finish a book and just flick the last page (ebook) and sit and take a moment to soak in just how fantastic that story was. How completely it sucked you in. In my case my next task is to then add it straight to my library’s order list, though I’m not too sure if I will be putting it in my mystery collection or humour. It really could go both ways and will appeal to readers wanting either genre or even just readers who love a book with great characters and dynamic relationships.
There is so much to love about this book.
Gideon himself. He’s not afraid to note how different he is and how this makes him extraordinary. He’s good at noticing details, at putting these clues together. It’s what made him a great detective as a kid and what makes him the perfect guy for the job his ex-best friend Lily has for him. Gideon is our narrator and his dry wit and unique, detail-observing perspective makes him an hilarious narrator. While a label is never given, what makes him so great at detective work can make relationships a little tricky, like connecting with his dad. Gideon’s relationship with his dad is one of the things I enjoyed the most in this book. They are different and they each struggle to understand the other. The love is there, though, and through all Gideon’s arrests (ah, yep, there are a few) and his dad’s harsh words, it is them learning to reach out to each other that is really powerful.
Then we have the mystery. I love YA mysteries that just make sense for teenagers to be investigating and Lily and Gideon working as journalists to uncover a trend Lily has noticed in the local crime rate is the perfect crime to solve, especially when things get interesting with a murder. It is intriguing.
The romance is the bonus extra in this book that is just the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae. Gideon and Tess just work and it’s great to see their relationship blossom, Gideon’s confidence grow and just how easy, sweet and authentic it is. Also without drama, which I totally adored.
Gideon Green in Black and White has to be one of my favourite books so far this year and one of my favourite mysteries. It’s unique (love the blend of humour and crime solving) and unputdownable. Can’t wait to add this one to our library shelves.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Journalism, mystery, murder, investigations, detective, romance, father-son relationships, best friends, friendship.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: References to murder, drug use and drug overdose. Coarse language, f*** (30), sh** (40), pi** (9), di** (9), bi*** (1).
Representation: White main characters, neurodivergent (not labeled as such) main character. Heterosexual main character, bisexual main character.
Published: 17 May 2022 by Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. 384 pages.