FICTION

Panic

Carolrhoda Lab. Oct. 2019. 312p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781541535749.
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Gr 9 Up–High school junior Madelaine, an aspiring actress and musician, has been torn between her divorced parents for many years. Her mom, a survivor of breast cancer, is struggling to work two jobs and make ends meet, while her father is a successful talent agent living in a large house in the suburbs of Chicago. Though Madelaine tries her best to remain loyal to her mom, she has a hard time turning away from her father’s offers of shopping sprees and trips to New York City. When Madelaine finds an origami moon with a poem inside of it at her favorite coffee shop, she is inspired to finish a song she’s been writing and searches for the mysterious creator of the moon. Dylan, a member of an online music site, comes forward and befriends Madelaine digitally. As Madelaine tries to juggle auditions, family life, and school work, she occasionally notices a suspicious man appearing in the places she frequents. Though she wonders if her Internet friend is responsible, she uncovers shocking family secrets that make her realize the situation is even more intense than she imagined. This is a sweet book with a touching story line that will likely strike a chord with teens going through any type of family drama. On the downside, frequent passages of text message conversations are distracting, and some of the characters are two-dimensional.
VERDICT Recommended for large libraries, especially those interested in theater and arts.

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