400p. Egmont USA. May 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781606844762; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781606844779. LC 2013018267.
Gr 10 Up—"I killed him, I killed him, I killed him, I killed him." A year ago Calliope Knowles was found writing these words over and over on the wall of a bathroom in an abandoned apartment—she'd been there for a day and a half. Her abusive preacher father had disappeared along with a little girl from the community. Calliope has no memory of what happened that day, but she believes that she killed her dad. The only clues to the truth are in her sudden onset of graphomania: compulsive—seemingly nonsensical—writing. The more she writes, the more she seems to remember about the night her father and Hannah vanished. But how accurate are her memories? And what does she risk by seeking out the truth? Though the writing is a little self-conscious and flowery, it works. The story is told in first person, and the protagonist is a poet afflicted with an obsessive need to write. Nearly every time Calliope has a graphomania fit, "a teardrop splats" on the page, or "tears build" in her eyes, or she's "sobbing," or some other reference to crying. Despite this flaw, the mystery in the story is compelling, and the final revelatory scene is horrifying. John, Calliope's main love interest, is a little too perfect, and her foster sister, Lindsey, is too much of a hateful queen bee, but otherwise the characterization rings true. An exciting page-turner.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Calliope has suffered from graphomania, an overwhelming compulsion to write, ever since her abusive father and a girl from his parish went missing. The words frighten her, but Callie struggles to unlock their meaning, as several lives--including her own--hang in the balance. Callie is a sympathetic protagonist, and her painful journey to understanding is gripping.

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