As a fan of Inspector Lynley's adventures, I had high hopes for this foray into YA for Ms. George. Alas, her publisher led her astray.
True, this is a fast-paced, high energy story set in a place wholly familiar to the author. The beginning has such promise, and then George adds so much more characters, motives, actions, and sub-stories that there's no possible way she could wrap it up in one book. Thus, the publisher's failure, since they probably requested the requisite YA trilogy.
Don't get me wrong, I still like George's writing and it is an enjoyable book to read, despite the main character's low self-esteem (in the American trope of girl viewed as ugly and/or fat when she is neither).
As a former proofreader, I have to point out that it's spelled Skagit.
Because of the ending, This book definitely should be part of a series
this book seemed to be a great premise but it did not deliver at all - the writing was awkward, the teenagers' voices rang completely false and it dragged on far too long... I read it because of the positive fan comments but it was very disappointing and I would be shocked if any 15 year old would enjoy it - I know I didn't...
I've long been a fan of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series, and now she has started writing for teens. This book is the first in a new series. The main character here is Becca King, aka Hannah Armstrong. Becca has an unusual ability to be able to hear other's thoughts. They come to her a bit disjointed, in snatches, and can overwhelm her, especially if she is around too many people at once. She has a device she can wear that help block these. Becca's mom Laurel doesn't always make the best choice when it comes to men, and her current husband, Jeff, is a prime example. Jeff, knowing of Hannah's ability, has used her to assist him in activity that isn't on the up and up. When she learns something about Jeff from his thoughts, she and her mother go on the run, hence the new name.
But Laurel's plan for Becca gets a glitch, and Becca must find a way to survive and stay safe before her mother can come back for her. When a boy in her class is hurt, Becca is first on the scene and finds herself in panic mode. Will her actions put her in danger? Where is her mother? What happened to Derric? Why is Jenn so angry? and many more questions as the young people try to sort out issues in their lives and their feelings.
Set on remote Whidbey Island in Washington State, you get a real sense of the setting, and George is good at brining her characters to life. The ending is what tells me there are more books to come, and I'll be looking forward to them.
I checked this out thinking it was a continuation of the Lynley detective series and was surprised to find it was for Young Adults - lucky teens getting their own E. George series! I read the book anyway and found it to be enjoyable, suspenseful and chock full of interesting characters. I thought 'kids' would like it as it has all the melodramatic hoopla and touches of the otherworldly expected from stories these days. Try it!
Loved this book until the ending, which leaves too many questions unanswered and is very unsatisying.
Others have told you the plot. I gave this book, which I greatly enjoyed, 4 stars because I thought George's depiction of Whidbey Island's character was accurate and recalled so much of this beloved island to my mind. The plot is complicated, especially because the narration is from many different characters' points of view and they don't really know much about each other's lives. In fact the message of the book could be, "Don't rush to judgement on other people as you do not know what is going on in their life." I thought our heroine's ESP was well described and not glorified. All in all a fun read.
George incorporates characteristics of YA novels into her first novel for teens. Simplistic writing style makes the novel an easy read for early teens. With a protagonist of 14 years, this novel would seem a bit young for older teens. The teens in the story all have secrets which make them fearful of telling the truth, believing in others, in confiding in others and getting help. Through these character faults, George tries to teach teens how to take responsibility for their actions and to think of others not just themselves. I think George sees herself as Diana, the older female character in the story who has wisdom and special gifts which will no doubt be developed in a future book. Ending on a cliff hanger, this novel is about a stepdad who seems to have killed his business partner. His daughter and wife run away and assume new identities. The mom drops her daughter off with a friend on Whidbey Island giving her a phone to be used only in an emergency should she need to contact her mom. The daughter gets entangled in the lives of the villagers and, of course, she loses her phone. The sheriff tries to trace the owner of the phone not knowing that this contact will provide the stepdad with knowledge where the family is hiding. Book starts slowly and then picks up as there is more action, conflict, and developments surrounding the characters. A linear plot is used so teens won't get confused with the story line.
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