Cover Image: A Long Stretch of Bad Days

A Long Stretch of Bad Days

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Member Reviews

I don't know if I had any strong expectations going into this story, but wow did it really deliver. This was such a good read that kept building as it went, with a shocking ending that truly packed a punch. The story is fully in Lydia's point of view, but it's really a story about these two girls from very different backgrounds who unexpectedly end up running a podcast together. Bristal is definitely a bit of a foul-mouthed, rough around the edges girl who has a sense of humor that really isn't for everyone, but I love the contrast between her and Lydia, and how they are both imperfect in ways that are similar and different. It's a great pairing because they shouldn't work together, but you also can't see one solving all of these mysteries without the other.

Speaking of mystery, I really like the mystery of this story. I've read a lot of stories with a present day mystery or current danger on the loose, but these girls are looking into the hidden past of a small town that does not want any of its unseemly secrets uncovered. I won't give much away, but I also liked that what starts out as trying to solve one mystery (aka the town's only murder ever) turns into two mysteries and a lot of uncovered truths that challenge what both girls think they know. And as I said, an ending I wasn't quite ready for but was also really good. The podcast element was a cool idea that feels on trend, although I wasn't a huge fan of the actual podcast snippets. They felt a bit disjointed and like each girl doing a separate oral report for school rather than the collaborative back and forth dialogue I was expecting. Doesn't take away from the story, but maybe not a podcast I'd listen to in real life. But the rest of the story was a smooth, easy and fun rad. If you like witty writing, a dark and sarcastic sense of humor, and solving old murders, you might like this book.

One of the things I really like was the role of the small town in this story. For Lydia, it's definitely stifling, and a town like this one works together to keeps its secrets and pretend like everything is okay all of the time. It's one of the biggest problems the girls fights against, and it's almost like this town's self-imposed blindness is the real villain of the story, so it feels like another character which is really cool. At the same time, small towns don't feel demonized. It works for different characters, and having Lydia and Bristal together gives really interesting perspectives that I enjoyed diving into.
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This was my first Mindy McGinnis book but I have been eyeing her other books for a while now. I will be picking up more after this book though because man was this a good one. This ya mystery was modern, had a great female friendship, and no real romance. I liked that there was no romance to distract from the story, you don't see many books like that now a days. I really liked the podcast part of this story, how it was the way they told the mystery and that there were transcripts in the book. I am a big podcast fan and it just brings two of my favorite things together in this book (reading and podcasts). There were some twists and turns in this book as well leading me in different directions and I had no Idea how this story would end. I just loved it and I can't wait to see people post about this book.
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Henley, Ohio is a town with a small-town class system, maybe like one a lot of us grew up in. Back in the mid-nineties, the good citizens of Henley experienced “a long stretch of bad days” and Lydia and her friend, Bristal, are researching those days for their podcast. Assumptions are investigated and secrets discovered. 

Mindy McGinnis knows how to write teenage girls! The banter between Lydia and Bristal is often entertaining. I caught myself laughing many times throughout the book. If you enjoy books such as the Good Girls Guide to Murder series, you will really appreciate this one. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Children's Books, Katherine Tegen Books for this ARC.
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This was a little different than what I'm used to from McGinnis. Her books are usually so dark and gritty and I LOVE them because of that. Bad Days was most definitely dark in subject, but the two main characters had the best banter between them. I couldn't get enough. It added a different feel to the book that I wasn't expecting. I really enjoyed it!
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In short, I have never related harder to a character than the girl in this book. I am a boy, but aside from gender, we are literally twins. We talk back, and then things take a turn for the worst. #relatable
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As always, Mindy knocked it out of the park! Her books always draw me in on page one and spit me out a changed human at the end. 

This might be one of my favorites of Mindy's books because it wasn't as gory or gritty as her others. I read it and genuinely enjoyed every part of it and was very thankful that Bristal and Lydia didn't cut off their own feet like the one in Be Not Far From Me did; I'm still haunted by that. 

Anyways -- Lydia and Bristal's friendship felt real, and the progression as they got closer felt natural. Lydia's descent into her true, dark self felt the same way. As a true crime enthusiast (thanks Crime Junkie!) I loved the podcast transcripts included and the girls' perseverance to figure out the truth behind what happened to Daphne when no one else would.  

Read this one! You won't regret it.
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My rating for this one is a 3.
I love the fierce female leads that this author creates, and usually her books are a solid 4 stars for me. Unfortunately, this was a bit too slow of a burn for me. The story felt a bit stagnant and it took a while to get to the major wow parts. I felt like things didn’t really pick up until the last 30 pages.
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For me, this book started out a bit slower than expected but Mindy McGinnis always has a way of creating a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and she doesn't disappoint this time. Due to an error in her graduation credits, Lydia must figure out a way to graduate on time to keep her life on track. She comes up with a plan to report on a stretch of events in her town's history that includes a teen girl who disappeared. With the help of an unlikely student, Bristal, that also needs graduation credit the two embark on uncovering secrets about their town that they may not be ready for. This book leaves you wondering right up to the end. Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was fantastic! I really enjoyed it and it kept me guessing throughout, which is difficult for most books to do. I felt like I connected with the characters and really enjoyed the plot!
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Mindy McGinnis did it again. Her books have proven themselves to be full of unexpected turns and character backstories and developments that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's so great to read an author who consistently proves telling stories is what they are meant to do. 
This book is perfect for those who love podcasts and true crime. Set in a small town that doesn't know what to do with these two girls they will turn it on its head and they explore the long stretch of bad days and get their credits so they can leave this town to follow their dreams. 

Synopsis:
From award-winning author Mindy McGinnis comes a thrilling and gripping YA mystery about a small town’s past and the secrets unearthed by way of two teen girls—and a podcast. Perfect for fans of Sadie, The Cheerleaders, and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

A lifetime of hard work has put Lydia Chass on track to attend a prestigious journalism program and leave Henley behind—until a school error leaves her a credit short of graduating.

Bristal Jamison has a bad reputation and a foul mouth, but she also needs one more credit to graduate. An unexpected partnership forms as the two remake Lydia’s town history podcast to investigate the Long Stretch of Bad Days—a week when Henley was hit by a tornado, a flash food, as well as its first, only, and unsolved murder.

As their investigation unearths buried secrets, some don’t want them to see the light. When the threats escalate, the girls have to uncover the truth before the dark history of Henley catches up with them.
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Two things in a book synopsis will always catch my eye: a podcast and a small town with big secrets. Here, we have both, but it doesn’t stop there. In this one, the author ups the ante with her powerful writing, an examination of social class, a believable and compelling found friendship, and authentic family dynamics. From start to finish, this book succeeds at its project and sets the bar for every young adult mystery that follows it. 

It all begins when Lydia, who is the daughter of a prominent town attorney, discovers that she doesn’t have enough credits to graduate high school—through no fault of her own—so the school offers her an opportunity: if she uses her podcast to research and present historical facts about her small town, the school will award her both the credit and her diploma. She agrees to the compromise, but not before she shakes things up by enlisting the town’s bad girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Bristal, to add some grit and possibly some controversy to the show. The two girls team up to investigate the past, the “long stretch of bad days” in 1994 when the town experienced a tornado, a flood, and a murder all within a few days. What juicy tidbits will they learn? You must read to find out. 

This book really is a cut above the rest. The characters are so well-crafted; they feel genuine, and I could not help falling in love with them. The pacing gallops from scene to thought-provoking scene: it’s intriguing; it’s tense, and because we’re following two very different teen girls, we’re rewarded with dashes of sarcastic humor. Surprises lurk around every corner, and the ending is perfection. 

Don’t miss the one. I guarantee it’s the best in the batch of YA Mystery titles this year. 

Enjoy!
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"'Funny thing about those cracks,' Bristal says. 'Most of them are teenage-girl shaped.'"

There is really no one else in YA doing small-town gothic like Mindy McGinnis. She's not dark, or even that "gothic" per se, but just...odd. Odd and strange in just the way real life can be misshapen and muddled. This is a slice-of-life study in privilege and community and reputation. Yes, there's murder mystery, but that's not even the most fascinating part.

Bristal Jamison is already my favorite character this year. (Although, it's only January 6th.) She's crass, kind, violent, and tender, and you can't help but just love her. However, I really like McGinnis' decision to have Lydia be the 1st person POV narrator instead. Bristal is a whole show; it's better to watch than try to understand it. Lydia's analytical and inquisitive mind is better suited for telling this story. (Also, it means we get to see Uneven Steven the cat.)

Lydia suitably amends for her assumptions and prejudices, and McGinnis makes thoughtful commentary on class, status, and power. My only wish is that we got more time with the Jamisons, clearly the more entertaining family, but the Chasses give a good show.

Did I mention also how funny it is!?
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This book was full of twists and turns but it’s the friendship between Lydia and Bristal that really stands out. I loved the development of both characters. I think this book would be really great on audio so you can hear the podcast recordings.
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I loved this story! The characters are great. So many great lines. I thought the inclusion of socioeconomic issues to be very timely, many of our students are dealing with this. Highly recommended!
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#ALongStretchofBadDays #NetGalley Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this novel. I encourage you to check this one out!
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I liked this book a lot more than I thought I was going to when I first started it. It started out a little slow but definitely picked up and held my interest. It had a  lot of good twists and turns that kept me hanging on. I will be recommending this book to anyone who will listen!
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Mindy McGinnis is one of my all time favorite YA authors. I adore her gritty, dark, twisty tales and was so excited to get an e-ARC of this book! It combines two of my favorite things: murder mysteries and podcasting. Two high school girls realize they are short a credit to graduate so they set out to create a podcast about their sleepy town. Little do they know that they are playing with fire and walking a very fine line with those in town who want the recent past to stay quiet and hidden away forever. I adored these two main characters--Bristal especially had be laughing out loud with her sense of humor and clever one liners. Mindy did it again! This book was super compelling and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen!!!
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4.5 stars that I'm rounding up to 5 because I love these two characters and their families sooooo much.  I can't decide if I want to be Lydia or Bristal if I grow up, but I definitely need to be in their very small friends circle.  I laughed at their humor and snark and tough girl vibes so many times.  I loved their relationship.  The two of them together had me LOLing for reelz!!  The storyline itself was easy to sink into and it was a fun and twisty ride.  Dig into this one, you won't be disappointed.
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Mindy McGinnis never fails to write an incredible story and A Long Stretch of Bad Days is no exception. 

Lydia has always been a straight arrow with a clear plan to get out of Henley.  However, because of an error on her transcript, she is at risk of not graduating.  After convincing the administration to allow her to do an independent study, Lydia pulls Bristal Jamison along for the ride.  Bristal is in the same boat, but as a Jamison girl she has never been a straight arrow.  Her foul mouth and willingness to do just about anything is something Lydia has to adjust to quickly.  For their project they decide to do a podcast on Henley's long stretch of bad days.  It doesn't take long before the pair realizes that something doesn't add up in everyone's stories about what happened following a local tornado and a girl gone missing.  

I highly recommend picking this book up!
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Henley, Ohio had a rough time in the mid-90s, with a tornado, a flood, and a murder all in the same week. The town's golden child Lydia Chass and girl-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks Bristal Jamison become an unlikely podcasting duo when they each need an extra history credit to graduate. The girls begin an investigation into the long stretch of bad days and uncover a whole lot of uncomfortable and dangerous secrets lurking beneath the surface of their nice little town.

I LOVE Mindy McGinnis. The way she writes teenage girls is brilliant, and I love that she doesn't hold back on the darkness. Like at all. This wasn't my favorite by her, but it would take a lot to unseat The Female of the Species and Be Not Far From Me from the top spots. Absolutely a must-read for existing McGinnis fans and a good entry point for new-to-her readers. She is the best. Highly recommend.
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