A Bad Day for Sunshine
by Darynda Jones
Sunshine Vicram has returned to her hometown with her freshman daughter, Auri, in tow. Despite having tried to run as far away as possible (about 30 minutes), she's back and she has somehow become sheriff of Del Sol without even knowing she was running. (How do you win an election you didn't put your name in for?)
On the plus side, she's living in her parents' backyard in an "apartment" they'd had built just for her and her daughter (as if they KNEW she would win that election she didn't enter) and she's got her forever BFF as her deputy.
She also starts her first day with a flasher, a rooster-napper, a car through the window of the sheriff's office building, a kidnapping, and a run-in with the guy she has crushed on since she they were kids.
She'll take on the kidnapping as the easiest of the things to deal with.
At the same time, Auri is at her first day of high school in a new town and she's starting on a bad foot since just a few days prior, her mom's BFF deputy raided the completely secret but known by everyone high school party and confiscated the beer (for himself). Now Auri is suspecting of being a narc and the student body pretty universally hates her. Except for Cruz. He is difficult to read, but doesn't seem to be anti-Auri.
Now both mom and daughter must pool their resources to figure out why someone would take another freshman who looks a lot like Auri and how to stop that freshman's prophetic dreams of dying before her 15th birthday from coming true.
Final thoughts: I LOVE Darynda Jones and all of her snark. There are some very Charley-ish moments here (and a reference, so we're in Charley-land!), but the vibe between mother and daughter brings on a different feel. Plus we get swoons for multiple ages now so RL moms can start sharing this with their older teen daughters. Some of the plot points are obvious and future stories can also be predicted, but Jones weaves a complicated web for all of her characters and this is really a joy to read. The only negative that I had was with the formatting of the Kindle ARC since the two ladies trade off points of view for the story and it sometimes isn't immediately obvious that we've switched with the formatting as it currently appears.
Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press for the ARC.