FICTION

Endangered

288p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Apr. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062297563.
COPY ISBN
Gr 9 Up—Lauren "Panda" Daniels likes to blend in. No one notices her, or suspects that she is responsible for the immensely popular anonymous photoblog that catches people from her high school in compromising positions. The teen considers herself "karma personified." When an online secret admirer discovers her identity, Lauren is scared she will be busted. Instead, her admirer expresses an interest in photography and challenges Lauren to "top" a magnificent photograph. Lauren is intrigued, until the subject of her latest post is killed and her admirer emails Lauren a picture of the dead body. Lauren realizes that she may have to own up to her blog, face its ugly aftermath, and cooperate with the boy who ruined her high school life to prevent more deaths and catch a killer. Giles's protagonist undertakes high-intensity, dangerous endeavors in a contemporary-realistic setting, but (refreshingly) does not escape very real, personal consequences. There is also some skillful character development in this book, as many of the assumptions that Lauren introduces in the beginning are slowly deconstructed and examined over the course of the story. Mei delivers a harsh wake-up call to Lauren about her habit of constant playful teasing, and how she uses it as "camouflage" so no one will suspect her blogger-identity. Overall this book is a dynamic, dangerously suspenseful, contemporary adventure that also leaves room for introspective soul-searching.—Sara White, Seminole County Public Library, Casselberry, FL
Lauren leads a double life as a vigilante photographer exposing her cruelest classmates' dirty secrets via an anonymous blog. After Lauren photographs mean girl Keachin in a compromising position, a mysterious "Admirer" goads her with a series of photographic dares. The escalating game of cat and mouse unfolds with unremitting tension in this psychological thriller with a full-throttle plot.
Lauren, sneeringly called Panda by her classmates (both because she loves pandas and because she's biracial), leads a double life as Gray, a vigilante photographer who exposes her cruelest classmates' dirty secrets via an anonymous blog. But after she photographs mean girl Keachin in a compromising position with a popular gym teacher, Lauren learns that she has her own stalker. As the situation with Keachin spirals into murder, Lauren's mysterious "Admirer" goads her with a series of photographic dares until it becomes clear the two plots are linked. The escalating game of cat-and-mouse unfolds with unremitting tension as the stakes rise; Giles's willingness to break with common suspense tropes (for instance, Lauren reveals the situation to her parents fairly early on) gives the plot extra layers of both realism and unpredictability. Meanwhile, Lauren's character is a masterful blend of vengeance and innocence; Giles manages to present her sympathetically while still inviting readers to question her perspective at every turn. The resulting exploration of good and evil, justice and culpability, and anger and guilt gives this psychological thriller the thematic and emotional depth to match its full-throttle plot. A strong choice for lovers of suspense. claire e. gross

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