Last Chance, by Norah McClintock
YA/Canadian/Mystery (sort of)
Last Chance is billed as "A Robyn Hunter Mystery". However, the story is more about friendship, and first impressions, and giving people a second chance. The mystery doesn't really get started until more than halfway through the book, and even then, it is not much of a mystery. So, the billing here is a little misleading. However, as a story, I think this works fairly well. The main character is Robyn, a teen with divorced parents - a lawyer mom, and a retired cop turned security man dad. She's gotten herself into a bit of trouble, and finds herself doing community service work at an animal shelter. There, she comes into contact with a crew of young men who are participating in an anger management through dog training program. It just so happens that Robyn has had an unpleasant experience with one of these people in the past, and she has some preconceptions about the lot of them because of it. The story is a little heavy handed, and the mystery is hardly thrilling. However, it was a quick read, and gripping in its way. The characters were well drawn, and I found myself reading on because I wanted everything to work out well in the end.
By no means the worst teen mystery to be released this year, but not one of the year's best.