Stanley & Hazel by Jo Schaffer #Review

A great depression grips the city of St. Louis in 1934. Stanley, an orphaned newsie, lives in a poor part of town hit especially hard by the economic downturn. One night, Stanley runs into Hazel, a restless debutante-in-waiting who has begun to question her posh lifestyle in the midst of the suffering she sees. She's out and about without an escort and against her father's wishes. When they discover the body of a girl with her head bashed in by a baseball bat, the very different and separate realities of the two teens inform their decision. Together they will figure out what happened to her and bring those responsible to justice. But getting involved with each other and digging into the secrets behind this murder earns them some powerful enemies, including a secret group seeking to rid society of all they deem undesirable. They've put into motion "The Winnowing," a plan seeking to take over the city and enforce their will. As Stanley and Hazel's forbidden feelings for one another grow, their investigation turns deadly. Now, it is up to Stanley and his gang of street kids to stop Hazel from becoming the next victim.


This is not a typical read for me but once I read the synopsis I became intrigued and knew I had to read it. This fantastic read takes place in STL, MO during the depression and the worldbuilding and characters quickly sweep you off your feet and transports you to that era. The story shifts between Stanley and Hazel and we get a taste of what it was like for the rich and poor of that time. From the minute you pick up the book you can just see that the author has a creative writing style and I really hope there will be more to this story. Take a chance on this one as you won't be disappointed.

{I requested an ARC from the publisher and made no guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions contained herein are unbiased and my own.}

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