Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? Callie is grieving over the sudden death of her older sister Teresa, “Tess,” who had been hearing a voice in her head over the last two years saying things that seemed to be warnings or hints about events in their hometown of New Avon, Massachusetts. Sainthood, a cause close to their mother’s heart is now on the horizon, but Callie wants to prove that her sister was just a normal girl, not a saint.
There are family disputes and secrets discovered and to top it off a little girl who had been kidnapped months ago turns up alive but unable or unwilling to talk about her captivity.
Tess had received one of her messages shortly after the kidnapping and desperately tried to make sense of what it could mean to find the little girl. Through journal entries in Tess’s diaries we learn what her life was like amidst all the uproar of her fame as a mystic and healer, and we chase along with Callie and her friend and Tess’s boyfriend, Danny, as they try to make sense of the connection between Tess and the kidnapper before he strikes again.
We also read about Callie’s doubts about faith, reasonable for what she and her family have been through, but also about the devotion of her mother and Tess’s influence not only in their church, but beyond New Avon as well.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I truly liked this book, though teenagers solving a difficult crime seems a bit farfetched, though not uncommon in many YA novels of late.
To whom would you recommend this book? Fans of Kim Savage’s After the Woods, another locally set suspense novel, and Local Girl Swept Away by Ellen Wittlinger will thoroughly enjoy this novel.
Who should buy this book? High schools and public libraries should add this to their shelves.
Where would you shelve it? Suspense/Thriller/Mysteries
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Maria Touet, Pope John XXIII High School, Everett, MA
Date of review: June 27, 2017