Dead Letter Office by Kira Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
CJ (Celia Jane) Macarty knew her life was never going to be the same the day she saw the two Navy officers in dress uniform got out of their car. Since that day when the officers notified her and her mother that her father was killed in Afghanistan, CJ's life has turned upside-down. She and her mother have moved from California to New Orleans to be closer to her father's family, a family CJ has never met. Now she is burying her father and starting at a new high school all in the same week. When CJ escapes the crowd at her grandparents' house after the funeral, she finds an unusual tree in a clearing growing behind the house. On the tree is a hollow which has been sanded and stained until it resembles a mailbox. When CJ finds an antique letter with the words "Help me, C.J.M" written on it inside the hollow, it sets her on a path which takes her from the French Quarter to the bayou in the hopes of solving a long dead murder.
This is an "Active Fiction" book written similar to the Choose-Your-Own Adventure series in which you make a choice to tell the story. I am not a fan of these types of stories but found this one easier to maneuver through. There were not too many choices to the story so it was easy to follow and remember what had happened in the storyline. I went back and redid my choices the second time around and found the story still very likable.
I also found the characters of Tilly and Celia to be likable too. I was not as engaged by Luc or Donovan but hope to see them develop more in the next story.
I would recommend this book for ages 10+, especially those who are looking for this type of choose your own story.
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