“The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that) but Sunset Towers faced east. Strange!” These opening lines of The Westing Game still pop into my head anytime I need to remember which way the sun goes. I was probably in fourth grade when I found this gem at the school library, and it’s the first book I remember really falling in love with. I read it several times back then, and once I actually took notes along the way to see if I could gather every clue of the mystery and create a path to the solution. (Surprise! I was kind of a dork.) I’ve never forgotten it, but I’d also never revisited it as an adult, so I recently checked it out to see how it holds up so many years later. I’m so glad I did. Oh my god, this book. OH MY GOD THIS BOOK!
I’m not sure I can express the joy that rereading The Westing Game brought me. This book is perfect. I honestly think this is why I’m always disappointed in thrillers, because The Westing Game takes such perfect twists and turns, has an amazing red herring, and the most satisfying conclusion. What’s so charming about this is that it’s truly meant for kids; so much of children’s literature feels so full of nods and winks at the adults reading them. There’s not really anything wrong with that, but it’s refreshing when something feels purely meant for the young reader’s enjoyment. The events in this book don’t always hold up under much scrutiny, but you can see how they would make sense to a child. I will always love this perfect little book. Now, can Wes Anderson please make a movie out of it?