STORY: Tatu, Iiris ja Pääkallomies is a late-YA story full of drama, crime and suspense. Tatu is a 16 year old guy who comes across Iiris, a pretty older girl, at the beach one day. Although he knows she could never be his girlfriend, he decides to follow her on Instagram and get his hair cut at the salon where she works and spend as much time with her as he can. But he notices things that worry him about the guys Iiris seems to know. She doesn't seem to have a good past, she is having problems with her ex-boyfriend and strange men seem to be hanging around her apartment. Then one day something horrible happens. And Tatu might be the key to finding out a solution.
I would recommend this book to older YA's (15/16+) and adults due to the content in the second half of the book. This is the second book from Marja-Leena Tiainen I have read and both are very serious and dark stories. It's a wonderful story and well told and enjoyable to read.
PACE: The book starts slow and the first half of the book is mainly building up to action that happens in the second half. Like a good mystery/crime novel, clues and suspects are presented to allow the reader to make his or her own judgements and try to solve the mystery themselves. The second half picks up quickly, and are action-oriented and leaves the reader wanting to know what happens next.
The chapters are short and each one took me around 10-20 minutes to read, depending on chapter length.
LANGUAGE: The book contains a lot of puhekieli (conversational Finnish), so this is a good opportunity to either learn some more of spoken Finnish or to read a selkokirja which is not written completely in book-Finnish. The vocabulary is not complicated and many words repeat throughout the book, making the second half of the book slightly easier and faster to read. This is a YA book, so there is a lot of vocabulary relevant to teens, and there is a lot of vocabulary relevant to crime, especially in the latter half.
I recommend this book as a challenge to a B1 who has a working knowledge of puhekieli or a general read to a B2 or higher.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: You should read this story because it ticks off so many boxes of a good book. Great characters, books for boys (though girls can of course also enjoy), modern, crime novel, boy meets girl, YA, dark and serious, full of conversational Finnish, good story, and the list goes on. This author is setting the bar high for great modern selkokirjat, and if you had to pick one book off the shelf, I recommend one of hers. Do not be wary even if you find it on the YA/Nuorten shelf. In fact, go out of your way to find one. Highly recommend this book and author. 5/5