Foreword Reviews


Twists and turns abound in Lisa Naffziger’s teen suspense thriller Minus, in which a college bound heroine finds her life unraveling around her.

Beck is driving to the University of Chicago with her father, Gill. He seems like a typical dad, if overprotective of his homeschooled daughter. But then a police car appears and he draws a gun from the glove compartment.

The moment passes, but when Beck and Gill stop at a convenience store, Beck goes to the bathroom and hears violence erupt. She emerges to a scene of death, with her father nowhere to found. With help from a former police officer, Beck falls into a mystery involving her family and her origins, one complex enough to keep the surprises coming throughout.

Minus—which refers to Beck’s stuffed toy of the same name—is a unique blend of elements. It has the excitement, mystery, and violence of a thriller, but it is also a fish-out-of-water coming-of-age story as sheltered Beck figures out who she can trust while also learning how to navigate a coffee shop menu and the in-person complexities of a relationship forged through social media.

Naffziger’s art is appealing and enhances the storytelling. Her choices are tasteful, and never gratuitous with depicting the story’s more violent aspects. Along with a satisfying climax and concluding chapter, the art makes Minus entertaining for any reader, and perhaps a perfect selection for adolescents transitioning to books with more adult themes or teens looking for an adventure set in a realistic world.

Reviewed by Peter Dabbene

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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