And Then There Were Four

416p. Dial. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780803740723.
Gr 8 Up—When Saralinda, Antoine, Evangeline, Kenyon, and Caleb barely escape from beneath the collapsed roof of a dilapidated Rockland Academy campus building, the teens are understandably shaken. But when one of the group is killed in a second accident not long after, the other four begin to think that someone wants them dead. Reluctant friendships start to form, along with a theory, but Saralinda is sure that theory is wrong—her mother would never agree to a plot to kill her. Readers learn about the various elements that complicate the group's chances of survival, including Saralinda's protective mother, club foot, and diabetes, as well as the "monster" that is Caleb's dissociative identity disorder and the famous father who diagnosed him. The chapters are short and distinct, shifting between Saralinda's stream-of-consciousness first-person narrative and Caleb's sound but fear-driven second-person perspective to drive the plot. A few aspects of the story line, such as Saralinda's naïveté and Caleb's distrust of himself, are a little heavy-handed, and both budding romances are a bit lacking in originality, but the characters are diverse, each with their own stake in the story, and focusing on the mystery of why someone wants them dead, rather than who, is an interesting twist.
VERDICT A good choice for reluctant readers and fans of the author's previous work.

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