Bianca Torre is afraid of everything.
And not just normal phobias, either, like spiders and snakes (#2 and #25 on their ever-expanding list of fears). Also FEAR #39: MASCOTS. And #49: DYING BEFORE THE CONCLUSION OF ONE PIECE. Not to mention #11: TELLING MY PARENTS I’M A RAGING LESBIAN.
As an anxious birder questioning their gender identity, #6: INITATING CONVERSATION has mostly kept Bianca’s social life on hold. Besides hanging out with their anime-obsessed neighbor, Anderson, their outside interactions are limited to spying on neighbors with their birding telescope and weekly hikes with a local birding group, where they’ve developed an accidental crush on Elaine Yee, the newest member of the group (#13: BEAUTIFUL GIRLS).
All that changes when Bianca watches a neighbor get murdered through their telescope—a murder the police claim was a suicide. Bianca is certain they owe it to the stranger to learn what really happened, but there are a few problems. Like #5: DEAD BODIES. Or the threatening dead birds left in front of their house.
The man was investigating something, or someone—and he got murdered for getting too close to the truth. And now Bianca, along with Anderson and Elaine, has been pulled into the investigation, too.
Bianca Torre is left with a terrifying ultimatum: get to the bottom of things, fast—or become the murderers’ next victim.
As soon as I read the description of Bianca Torre is Afraid of Everything, I knew it was exactly the kind of book I would like. I was wrong: I didn’t like it. I loved it. This book has everything I possibly hoped for and more: murderers in plague masks, queer anxiety rep, school theater productions, geeky friendships, clever humor, birdwatching, budding romance, and lesbian sheep. Hands-down, this will be one of my favorite reads of 2023.
Bianca was an amazing protagonist. Despite their long list of fears—or maybe in part because of them—their voice and sense of humor are impeccable, yanking me into their life from the very first page. I rarely encounter such incredibly complex protagonists, or ones I connect with so deeply, but Bianca effortlessly fulfils both of these. If you love character-driven, deeply relatable characters, this is definitely a book for you!
But Bianca isn’t the only reason I fell in love with this story. Every detail of Bianca Torre is Afraid of Everything is excellent, from the quirky and weird minor characters and Bianca’s murder investigation to the theatrical interests of their mom and older sister. Whether you love twisty plots, witty writing, or fabulous characters, I highly recommend Bianca Torre is Afraid of Everything to readers ages twelve and up.