Harlan is the most popular kid in his high school, and Manny may be the least. And yet, somehow both Harlan and Manny know that nothing will ever be right in either of their lives until they can each unravel the terrifying secret that lies at the center of both their lives.
Two 17-year-olds with very different lives both begin experiencing strange phenomena in Hartinger's (Geography Club) suspenseful novel. Rich, popular Harlan, the son of a senator, begins having premonitions of his own death (one of which almost comes true when a bus narrowly misses him on the corner of Grand and Humble Streets). Meanwhile, theater "geek" Manny has terrible nightmares, which make him question his own past-questions that his usually sensitive father does not want to answer. Readers will be curious about the connection between these two opposite protagonists, whose stories unfold in alternating chapters. But they may find that some of the plot points stretch credibility. It's hard to believe, for instance, that Manny did not previously question his missing baby pictures, and Harlan's mother seems overly cruel (she began blackmailing him back when he was in the Boy Scouts) and micromanages his life, using guilt trips and threats. Still, despite the contrivances, readers will likely be impressed when they finally discover the link between Manny and Harlan (and they will have something to think about when the book ends). Ages 14-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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November 23, 2011
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