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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 170.
- Review Date: 2007-02-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Gothic romance fans will eagerly dive into this eerie debut novel, which traces the ethereal connection between Hal, a British teen, and his comatose older sister, Charley. While 15-year-old Charley hovers between life and death in a hospital, her body—kept alive by machines—remains motionless, but her mind is active ("It's as though the Earth is holding me down, packed tight in gravity," she laments). Meanwhile, Hal seems able to read some of his sister's thoughts. His feeling that Charley is trying to communicate with him grows stronger once he returns to the family's vacation house, where Charley's nearly lifeless body washed up on the shore the previous summer. ("From somewhere far away, I think I can hear... her hospital breath, falling over me in waves," says he). At the same time that Hal feels a burning urgency to solve the mystery of his sister's accident, he finds himself attracted to freckle-faced Jackie, whose brother may hold the key to what happened to Charley in the sea. A series of flashbacks convey the perspectives of both Hal and Charley, as Dogar artistically parallels two budding romances. Hal's infatuation with Jackie neatly mirrors the relationship Charley had with Jackie's brother, Pete. Although foreshadowing weighs heavily on the story line and Charley's frequent bemoanings about being trapped inside her body sometimes veer towards melodrama, teens intrigued by supernatural events will likely not be bothered by the book's less than subtle aspects. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)