The Orphan of Torundi by J.L. McCreedy, Book Review

General Information
Genre: YA/Thriller/Spy
Pages 300
Publisher: November 28, 2014
Published: Penelope Pipp Publishing

Book Summary: (Per Goodreads)
To find the truth, she must first uncover the lie ….

Orphaned as an infant, Sam is raised by a pharmaceutical research mission in the rain forests of Torundi. She wields a mean machete, makes soap from candlenuts and is a fairly astute amateur entomologist. You know, the normal stuff. But a month before her seventeenth birthday, she is exiled to an American boarding school in Malaysia.

Armed with little more than her unusual upbringing and church-lady clothes, Sam must contend with her new existence as the world's most socially unprepared high school senior. Well that’s just fine. Because she is determined to solve the mystery behind her banishment and return home tout de suite.

But when she discovers the unthinkable – that her banishment is tied to an enigmatic corporation with illicit designs on Torundi – she realizes the real mystery she must uncover is ... why? Soon, Sam is caught in a whirlwind of intrigue, danger and greed. As she chases this thread of truth to its end, she unravels a plot that threatens her beloved Torundi, her trust in the boy she has grown to love and her own existence.

My Thoughts:
This is probably one of my favorite books I have read this month.  As in it is tied for my favorite with 2 other book. (and yes I have read way more than 3 books this month!)

This book has a sweet romance, high school stereotypes that even in another country hold true, political and financial intrigue regarding so many different things and characters and a fantastic dialogue.  The only reason it does not take the favorite spot for me flat out is that I had a hard time, initially, that the two main characters, one being the boy, and the other being the orphan are both just barely adults.  Now I realize that sounds silly, but this book has some high stakes spy maneuvers, covert affairs and items at play and we find out the main characters are still not even in their 20s.  But if you are YA readers and you love YA books then this is not a far reaching issue and you can quickly move past it (as I did!)

Once past any age issues, you will find yourself immersed in another world where the USA is far from present or even relevant.  In Torundi and the boarding school, relationships are still front and center, but it is a different environment.  Politics and intrigue take the front seat as Sam quickly realizes her being banished is not all that it seems.  Sam is a fantastic female lead.  She has times where she is not quite sure of herself, but she is overall a very strong and charismatic character who follows her heart and does what she  believes is best at all times.  The boy at question..well his description makes it seem one that I as many readers will just take a deep sigh.  He is smart, charismatic, multi-talented and while faces a struggle over what to do (hello morals) he always had me fighting for him!

After I finished this book, and remembered to close my mouth at the cliff hanger that we are left with, I quickly started researching this author and trying to find out more information about her other works, if there would be another book to answer the cliff hanger,etc..  I could not find that out, so if you do please let me know!

Memorable Quotations
"Excited chatter erupts all around me, but I feel as if I'm watching everything from somewhere else. Hell, maybe."

"His eyes are as deep as the straits around us, deep and alive and full of unknowns.  But I've already jumped in.  I've jumped in and I swim to that thing I believe in."

"A hazy past no one has ever told me.  A pst only enemies understand.  I am taboo.. . . Taboo from existing, even, without my ever having suspected why. And no, here I am, unwittingly the link to a kingdom I hold so dear."

"Trust and belief.  I think they're the same thing." "I--I think it depends on what you mean by belief,"

Important Links:
Author's Blog

Links to Purchase Books:
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: I did receive this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.