No Way Home

Sourcebooks/Fire. Aug. 2022. 336p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781728254265.
Gr 8 Up–Tess Alessandro is embarking on the journey of a lifetime: a high school exchange program in Italy. She is thrilled to spend six weeks in Rome, eating delicious food, soaking up history, art, and culture, and getting to know the land her grandfather left so many years ago. But the morning her program starts, she wakes up to discover that her host family is holding her parents back home in America hostage, with the Italian teen she exchanged places with threatening to kill them if Tess does not follow all of their instructions, starting with stealing from a stranger’s home. Bewildered and with no other options, Tess becomes an unwilling accomplice to increasingly dangerous criminal pursuits. As she begins to uncover why her host family is determined to use her, what will she learn about her own family’s past? This pulse-pounding thriller will have readers on the edge of their seats until the last page. Teens will love zipping through Rome alongside Tess and her friends as they try to solve the puzzle her ancestors have left before the rest of her feuding family can. Tess is a smart and capable main character, and the novel’s ending leaves open the possibility of a sequel or series.
VERDICT An excellent choice for any young adult collection, this is also appropriate for mature middle school readers. Fans of mystery/thrillers with puzzles, such as Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s The Inheritance Games, will devour this book.

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