If you’re looking for ingenuity and clever twists and turns, look no further than Ask Me. The main character is an oracle who can’t help but tell the truth to whoever dares ask. Considering she’s in high school, this means she’s a social pariah. Pauley writes a swiftly moving YA that never lets up. Multidimensional characters abound, including protagonist Aria. The story is so rich and open-ended it raises a question perhaps only Aria — or Pauley — can answer: Will there be more fantastic installments? We can only hope.
If Aria hears a question — directly or indirectly — she’s compelled to answer. It’s her fate in life as an oracle, and frankly it’s making high school a real bear. She’s sent to live with her grandparents in a small town in Florida after her parents determine her gift is too tough for them to deal with. It isn’t long before the quiet lake town is shaken up by several murders, and two victims are classmates of Aria’s. Used to living on the periphery, Aria is drawn into the investigation and finding she knows a lot more than what makes her comfortable. Afraid to alert the police of her ability, Aria and a friend take it upon themselves to do some digging on their own, courtesy of her special gift. What she finds out not only surprises her, but puts her life at risk. (SOHO TEEN, Apr., 304 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9781616953836, HC, 14 & Up)