The Initial Insult (Paperback)
In the first book of a suspenseful YA duology, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and masterfully delivers a dark, propulsive mystery in alternating points of view that unravels a friendship . . . forevermore. Perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Truly Devious!
Tress Montor’s family used to mean something—until she didn’t have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. The entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the “White Trash Zoo.”
Felicity Turnado has it all: looks, money, and a secret. One misstep could send her tumbling from the top of the social ladder, and she’s worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors the night they disappeared. Felicity has buried what she knows so deeply that she can’t even remember what it is . . . only that she can’t look at Tress without feeling shame and guilt.
But Tress has a plan. A Halloween costume party at an abandoned house provides the ideal situation for Tress to pry the truth from Felicity—brick by brick—as she slowly seals her former best friend into a coal chute. Tress will have her answers—or settle for revenge.
* A Junior Library Guild Selection * Texas Tayshas Reading List of the Year * A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults & Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Book of the Year *
Mindy McGinnis is the author of several young adult novels, including A Long Stretch of Bad Days, The Last Laugh, The Initial Insult, Heroine, The Female of the Species, and A Madness So Discreet, winner of an Edgar Award. She writes across multiple genres, including postapocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy. While her settings may change, you can always count on her books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us. Mindy lives in Ohio. You can visit her online at mindymcginnis.com.
"McGinnis draws heavily upon the works of Edgar Allan Poe to deliver a gripping modern retelling of “The Cask of Amontillado.” Tress and Felicity are expertly fleshed out. Their linked tragedy and trauma is expressed in prose that is by turns gritty and heart-rending, and they join a lineup of strong, flawed, and intriguing McGinnis main characters. As the first book in a duology, the story ends in a cliff-hanger, which heightens anticipation for the second installment. Well-versed Poe fans will gobble this up, but the heartache, revenge, and anger that ooze from these pages should entice any reader." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"An intricate, duology-opening story of mystery and revenge by McGinnis with significant nods to Edgar Allan Poe’s macabre work. An engaging tale." — Publishers Weekly
"McGinnis cleverly weaves elements from Edgar Allen Poe’s stories... The slowly unfolding mystery and chilling cliff-hanger will cement interest for the next volume." — Booklist
"A wickedly disturbing and wildly entertaining tale of vengeance, guilt, and secrets. Poe enthusiasts will appreciate McGinnis’ adherence to her inspiration’s darkness." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"The elevator pitch is "Poe's Cask of Amontillado meets Tiger King" and that's exactly what this book delivers. McGinnis has crafted an artful tire fire that burns so bright and hot that I couldn't look away. My only complaint is the devastation I felt at the end when I realized this is the first book in a duology and I have to wait for the conclusion." — NPR Books
“If Edgar Allan Poe came back to write the scariest high school murder story ever, it probably wouldn’t be half as good as Mindy McGinnis’s The Initial Insult. You must read this book!” — James Patterson
"Expertly crafted and absolutely chilling. Mindy McGinnis holds nothing back in this twisty, ruthlessly compelling story of a friendship gone wrong." — Karen M. McManus, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying
"Lush, dangerous, and deliciously twisty, The Initial Insult is an Appalachian Gothic for the ages. A smart and vital reworking of one of Poe's most chilling stories." — Brittany Cavallaro, New York Times bestselling author of the Charlotte Holmes series
Praise for The Female of the Species: “[A] gripping story that should be read and discussed by teens, as well as those who work with them.” — Booklist
“Each word has been specifically chosen, each character superbly and humanly sculpted, the plot line masterfully completed. McGinnis plays with the readers and they are at her mercy.” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review)
“McGinnis gracefully avoids the pitfalls of creating a teenage vigilante, instead maintaining a sense of piercing realism.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An unflinching look at rape culture and its repercussions.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This is an astoundingly dark but beautifully written tragedy.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“[I]t’s raw. Not “raw for YA.” Real-deal raw. And violent. And unforgettable. McGinnis explores both and she goes there in a way no one really has before in YA.” — Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Your heart may still be pounding after you’ve finished this book.” — New York Times Book Review
Praise for Heroine: “[A] realistic portrayal of how easy it is to develop an opiate addiction and the very real consequences of addiction. A timely and important message for teens everywhere.” — Booklist
“A compassionate, compelling, and terrifying story about a high school softball player’s addiction to opioids. The writing is visceral, and following Mickey as she rationalizes about her addiction is educative and frightening. A cautionary tale that exposes the danger of prescription medications by humanizing one victim of America’s current epidemic.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Praise for Be Not Far from Me: "McGinnis' visceral and emotional tale features a strong, stubborn, and alarmingly capable protagonist with unwavering respect for the natural world... Impossible to put down." — Kirkus Reviews
"McGinnis is known for writing tough female protagonists and gritty realism, and she holds nothing back in this latest novel. Ashley is angry, vulnerable, smart, and compelling, and her journey is marked by setbacks, terror, and plenty of gross-out moments. This captivating, fast-paced novel is Hatchet for an older crowd. Highly recommended where adventure and survival fiction are popular." — School Library Journal
Praise for This Darkness Mine: “Rich imagery and a ruthless protagonist propel the novel forward to its shocking, ominous conclusion.” — Booklist
Praise for A Madness So Discreet: “McGinnis excels at rich character development; every person readers meet makes a dramatic impact on the story and on Grace.” — School Library Journal
“McGinnis can surely tell a story.” — USA Today
Praise for Not a Drop to Drink: “The intensity of action moves the story forward, but not at the expense of character development. The honest and hopeful ending-while not ‘happily ever after’—will resonate with readers and leave them asking for more.” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Those in search of fierce female survivalist characters need look no further than this.” — Booklist