FICTION

Believe

296p. Carolrhoda Lab. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467706971; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781467716178. LC 2012047184.
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Gr 9 Up—As a child, Janine, an American, was the only survivor of a suicide bomber's attack on a temple in Israel. Now 16 and living with her aunt in Pennsylvania, she wants to focus on getting into a good fashion design school and not be the center of any attention. But it is the 10th anniversary of the bombing, and the man who pulled Janine from the rubble is in town, courting the press. Dave Armstrong has become a preacher, and he feels that she is holy and has healing powers. Janine, a lifelong skeptic, tries to simply avoid Dave and his followers, but when they show up at her house, and she touches a boy in a wheelchair who then appears to walk, she begins to doubt everything in her life. Janine is a deeply complex character. As the anniversary of the explosion nears, she is alternately close and loving to her friends or angrily pushing them away. While many people would love to be famous, Janine had fame thrust upon her and grew up with it, affecting every day of her life. She lost her parents, her anonymity, and her innocence in that explosion. This is a book about faith, friendship, celebrity, family, and what pressure can do to someone. Readers may or may not agree with Janine's choices, but those choices always ring true. Aronson makes readers ponder how they would act in Janine's place. Hopefully they will never have to find out.—Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CT
Ten years after surviving the suicide bombing that killed her parents, sixteen-year-old Janine still struggles with grief, guilt, and avoiding the predatory news media. The charismatic pastor who saved her from the rubble comes to town, drawing Janine back into her painful, repressed memories and back into the media spotlight. Janine's emotional journey is nuanced but muddied by competing plot lines.

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