Look Closer
320p. Sourcebooks/Fire. Feb. 2019. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781492662747.
Gr 9 Up—This novel opens on the 402nd day since Tegan's father died in a helicopter crash while serving in Syria. Tegan lives in Washington, D.C. and it's the hot summer between her junior and senior years. Since her father's death, her mother has married Larry, a sleaze, but there's no moving on for Tegan. She quit the swimming team where her coach had Olympic aspirations for her, is having trouble crafting college essays, and her biggest interaction with others is sitting in DuPont Circle watching homeless people. One humid morning, Tegan sees underlined letters on a pyramid game on the back of her Cheerios box. The letters spell out a name, which she soon discovers belongs to a boy killed in an accident. More names appear to her in a variety of semi-hidden ways; each one bringing her new adventures, and some tragedies, but always new understandings of who she is. In this work of contemporary fiction with a satisfying blend of romance and the paranormal, Lewis has created a galaxy of complex and intriguing characters. The tension and humor between older teens and adults is artfully wrought. Tegan's memories of her father are poignant and joyful, and when Tegan is swimming, the writing is positively poetic.
VERDICT This hopeful tale is a strong choice for most YA shelves.

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