Queen Of The Tiles // Book Review

About The Book
They Wish They Were Us meets The Queen’s Gambit in this thriller set in the world of competitive Scrabble, where a teen girl, Najwa, is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend, Trina, when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages. As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3JPKLGS

My Rating

I hadn’t heard anything about this book before going into it. Also, I don’t really know anything about Scrabble, except that I would probably lose in a Scrabble competition. In the book we follow, Najwa who is competing in her first Scrabble tournament since her best friend’s death. Her best friend, Trina, was known around the teen Scrabble circuit as the Queen of the Tiles.

As you can probably guess, with this being a mystery thriller and all, that Najwa starts to wonder if her best friend was murdered for her ‘Scrabble crown’. Like in any sport, people will do anything to be number one. Najwa was an okay character, yet a little on the naive side, for my liking. But, we got to know a lot about her and her best friends relationship.

Let’s just say that in their friendship Najwa wasn’t the main character. However, Najwa didn’t really seem bitter about being the supporting character, but should could understand the desire to dethrone the scrabble queen. But, you could tell that she was still grieving the loss of her friend, and winning the scrabble competition, in honor of her BFF was her way of coping.

The mystery was interesting, and I didn’t want to put the book down. However, the plot in general was slow moving, and nothing really gripped me. Although, I did like learning more about Scrabble. It’s a pretty competitive and strategic game. One I’ve actually never played.

“And the idea that Scrabble is still there for me, grounding me through everything that’s going on, is comforting.”

Grief is a being topic in the book, which is a little strange for a murder mystery. And, I think the fact that it was such a huge plot point in the book could be why it felt so slow. More on the side of a contemporary vs a mystery. But, I will say that at its root it is a solid mystery thriller.

It’s hard to say if I liked the ending or not. Because, I’m someways it was completely expected and easy to see coming. On the other hand, it was a little shocking, especially since there were times when we were giving the element of an unreliable narrator. So I’m torn.

Overall, I found the book to be a pretty good read. The writing was nice and the plot was very well done. Although, I’m not sure if I liked the writing style enough to read more from this author. But, if you are newer to the YA mystery genre, I’d recommend this book.

In the comments, let me know if you enjoy a good game of Scrabble. Don’t forget to follow the blog to get notified whenever there’s a new post!

Until The Next Chapter,

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Jess C
1 year ago

I thought it was interesting what you said about how grief as a plot point felt strange in a murder mystery. I read a YA book called Spin that also did this and it does change the vibe of a book