When I read a description of Pest by Elizabeth Foscue and saw Veronica Mars mentioned, my attention was immediately piqued. That show is awesome! Read on to find out if it really did have that kind of vibe.
High school senior Hallie Mayhew spends her days traipsing from one lavish Montecito estate to the next…spraying ant poison.
Between her dad’s pest control company, her mom’s pond cleaning service and her side gig at Caddysnack (Santa Barbara’s premier small plates and minigolf destination) Hal puts the “work” in working class. But Hal has qualms about gassing gophers. She’s tired of ditching friends to skim dead fish from fountains. And she’s freaking weary of divorced-parent politics. So Hal has a plan: win the prestigious Verhaag Scholarship, go to an east coast school, never come back.
But the Verhaag Scholarship has a proud history of nepotism and a last-minute contender just crawled out of the woodwork. Hal’s parking lot nemesis usurps Yearbook Committee, depriving Hal of her only extracurricular credit. Her Montecito clients are in a defensive frenzy over a rash of estate burglaries and, if her jobs keep making her tardy, she may not even graduate. To salvage her scholarship, Hal needs the help of Spencer Salazar, the dim, infuriating (and kinda hot) rich kid next door. To save her college prospects, she must restore the natural order of Yearbook Committee. To preserve her graduation eligibility, she needs a happy first period history teacher. And, ideally, she’ll avoid death by doberman. Now, in her non-existent spare time, Hal is adding private eye, matchmaker, and rat commando to her list of side gigs and wondering—maybe too late—if she misjudged the boy next door.
First things first, my daughter’s name is Halley, pronounced the same way as Hallie. So that was fun 😃.
As far as Veronica Mars vibes, I totally got it! I loved Hallie’s attitude. She’s smart, loyal and gets great grades, but she’s also a little rebellious and snarky. I’m definitely not at the right age to be friends with a high schooler, but I wanted to be her friend. She’s pretty awesome and did remind me of Veronica.
Pest control is a quirky profession for a high schooler to have, and with Hallie’s wit and cynicism, it’s just super entertaining. It was really fun to read stories about pest control gone awry, and just that whole perspective in general. It made for a really fun read.
There’s also a little bit of the mystery that you get in Veronica Mars, between high school students and involving their unique types of disagreements and issues. This also made the book really amusing, although I did see a few of the mystery elements coming/was able to predict them. That didn’t take away from the story too much though, as I enjoyed the journey.
Overall, this book is just pure fun. It was delightful, and I enjoyed every moment of it. It read quickly, but I wasn’t trying to speed through it because I was loving it. It’s technically in the young adult genre, but it really didn’t read like that for me. Anyone, of any age, would enjoy it! I definitely recommend this one when you need something quirky and entertaining!