Monday, February 8, 2010

High School Picks

Wherever Nina Lies
by Lynn Weingarten
Scholastic, 2009.
316 pages.

In her debut novel, Weingarten weaves a tale of a missing girl, a murder, a botched romance, a devious psychopath, and a grieving sister who seeks answers for her sister Nina's disappearance. What starts out as a cross-country search for her missing sister ends in an exciting stand-off with police and the killer.

Ellie is heartbroken after her sister Nina vanishes. She has always wanted to be like Nina--to be impetuous, funny, well-liked, and pretty. Ellie seeks clues to why Nina would up and leave without even a note. She knows there's something wrong with Nina's disappearance and wants to find answers. Searching for clues, Ellie meets a new boy and finds herself falling for him. He agrees to accompany her on her search, and they set off in his car. They seek Nina in bus stations, restaurants, oldies record stores, tattoo parlors and rock concerts. The closer they seem to get to Nina, the closer Ellie gets to Sean. Ellie begins to question their relationship, and sees signs of trouble and outright danger. Sean is not what he appears. He sought Ellie out and befriended her on purpose, and is using their love to find Nina for himself. He has bad intentions and a bruised ego, and will stop at nothing to even the score.

The story is quirky in places, romantic in parts, and down-right scary before Ellie realizes the danger she's in. Wherever Nina Lies has a surprise ending. Teen readers will be attracted to the cover art. Language, sex, adult situations. Recommended grades 10-up.

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