Author: Kristina McBride
Publication: EgmontUSA (May 25, 2010)
Description: When Tessa's best friend Noelle disappears right before the start of eighth grade, Tessa's life changes completely--she shies away from her other friends and stops eating in the cafeteria. Now, two years later, Noelle has escaped her captivity and is coming home, in one piece but not exactly intact, and definitely different. Tessa's life is about to change again as she tries to revive the best-friendship the two girls had shared before Noelle--now Elle--was kidnapped; puts up a futile resistance to the charming new guy at school; pursues her passion for photography while trying to build the bravado to show her photos to the public; and tries to balance her desire to protect and shelter Elle with the necessity to live her own life and put herself first.
My Thoughts: So often when we think of child abductions we think of the victim. This story is told from the perspective of the best friend who is left behind. Tessa was always the shy one who depended on her more outgoing friend to be a buffer. When the friend is kidnapped, Tessa withdraws. She has panic attacks and becomes even more shy. She likes photography and is good at it but doesn't want to show her work to anyone. She is a sophomore now and in a photography class with juniors and seniors. She meets a boy who is new in town and who is also in the class. She had put her life on hold but now she is making some tentative steps to open up.
Then her best friend comes back. Noelle, now Elle, is changed. Tessa doesn't know how to connect with her again. Both have to make lots of adjustments and learn who they are now. Neither one really held still.
I liked that Tessa grew more confident as the story went on and was willing to open herself up to Max. I thought Max was very patient with her when she was so involved with Elle. He seemed very understanding and mature. I also liked that it looked like Elle was going to be able to adjust to not being a prisoner.
Recommended for those YAs who are interested in realistic fiction. It is a very good summation of what happens when someone is kidnapped.
Most of all, as she walked away from me, I pictured the excited look that sparked a person's face just from being near her. She had always pulled people in, cast some strange and immediate spell. She used to shine brighter than anything I had ever known.Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Debut Author Challenge
But the girl who walked away from me was dark. Dull. Somehow, strangely rough. I didn't know her at all.