Danger Game

Julie Lawson, Author Little Brown and Company $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-316-51728-7
Using recurring images of fire and water, Lawson (Water Jade Tiger) spins a psychological yarn about the inner torment of a teen who has been sexually abused. Most people, including the protagonist's ex-model mother, view 16-year-old Chelsea as a thoughtless vandal, but readers soon learn that her fascination with flames is connected to deep-seated anger and fear. Chelsea keeps her these emotions hidden--until she moves in with her cousin Beth's family, on a Canadian island, and meets a runaway named Diggon who is hiding a few dark secrets of his own. During a dangerous game of truth or dare, Chelsea opens her heart to Diggon, but, ironically, it is practical-minded Beth who eventually comes to the rescue. Packed with a number of life-threatening episodes, this novel may sweep readers into its momentum, leading them to overlook contrivances in plot and black-and-white characterizations of both cousins' parents. Ultimately, this book offers an intriguing mixture of ordinary and sublime elements; fragments of ancient myths, unselfconsciously woven into the text, add depth and color. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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