Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Author: Eireann Corrigan
Release Date: August 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 12-18 yrs/Grades 7-12
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 14-18 yrs/Grades 9-12
Year/Setting: Present day, Colt River WY
Overall Rating: 2.5
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Eireann's Website/Blog: None found
This is definitely a story that will be very personal to you. It will also be a black and white issue for each and every one of you who reads it; you’ll either like it a great deal, or, not be able to finish it.
Our story is set in a very small farming community called Colt River. This is one of those small towns where the farms are miles and miles apart, and the only thing most teens think about is how and when they’re going to get out of it and be free – which are exactly the questions that run through the minds of Chloe Caffrey and her friend, Finn Jacobs.
Once upon a time, very close to their home, a young girl had been taken named Margaret Cook. This poor girl was in the headlines for months – the top story on every major news channel. Soon, she fell out of the press completely when people began to think that she was simply going to be among all the others who were "never found." However, months later, Margaret Cook shows back up at her house and, for some reason, Chloe begins to obsess about this girl. Chloe feels that it would be a fantastic thing to disappear and then reappear; not only would you get all the headlines and people would know you by name for the rest of your life, but there would also be people who would throw gifts and accolades at you for your bravery and courage through a horrific time in your life. Chloe thinks it would make it impossible for even Vassar College not to accept her into their folds, considering she’d be a great, big star if she came back from the dead…
Chloe and Finn come to an understanding, and Chloe hides out in Finn’s grandmother’s basement while the woman is away. A lone horse that Chloe had been riding appears back at her parents’ farm, and soon all heck breaks loose. Police officers are combing through the back woods; news vans are screeching to a halt in front of the school to interview all of Chloe’s friends; and, her name becomes a permanent fixture on televisions across the globe.
Unfortunately, Finn feels sick as a dog. She sees what horrible things are happening to the people around her – how absolutely petrified Chloe’s parents are (naturally), and how much stress she has trying to keep up this lie. How will Chloe come back? And can Finn keep silent when a young – completely innocent – boy is arrested for a crime that hasn’t even taken place?
The author’s writing is extremely well done, and she certainly has "struck the nail on the proverbial head" when you think of all these horrific cases that have been very real, and very much in the news. However, something along these lines (as a parent) was not my cup of tea. It’s extremely hard to take any novel that’s about this subject and make it into something millions of people – especially kids – would like to read. But, perhaps, this is a YA to teach children not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Perhaps they should enjoy the lives they’ve been given and the parents who love them, and NEVER pull a cruel trick like the one that’s presented here.
Until next time, Amy
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