Posted in Teen

The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters – an ’80s-style YA mystery

gallivantersThe Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters, by M.J. Beaufrand (May 2015, Abrams) $16.95, ISBN: ISBN9781419714955

Recommended for ages 14+

Set in the punk rock scene in 1980s Portland, Oregon, The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters gives us a serial killer mystery with a supernatural touch, with a splash of David Bowie, for good measure.

You with me? Okay. Girls are going missing in Portland. One of them was found in the PfefferBrau Haus, a local brewery. Noah, a teen on the punk scene, swears the brothers running the brewery have something to do with it. A guy named Ziggy shows up – who just happens to bear a striking resemblance to David Bowie – and warns Noah about a creepy supernatural force called The Mar. Noah decides to resurrect his band, The Gallivanters, get into the battle of the bands at the PfefferBrau Haus, and bring the mystery of the missing girls to an end.

This book took a little bit to grow on me, but once it did, I committed to this story. We’ve got an unreliable narrator, which is always good for a page-turner. We’ve got a story of friendship, and a bit of a mystery that may involve the paranormal. And we have a story of loss that will sock you in the gut. Noah can be a frustrating narrator, but it’s in his character. The pacing can be a little bumpy, but overall, teens with an interest in the ’80s punk scene and whodunit fans will enjoy this one.



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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