Headlong

Kathe Koja, Author . FSG/Foster $16.95 (195p) ISBN 978-0-374-32912-9

Class, identity and friendship are the intersecting subjects of this intelligent novel. Now that she's a sophomore and boarding on campus, daughter of privilege Lily Noble wonders if she's outgrown the Vaughan School—she feels restless with students, administration and even her boyfriend, who assume they know everything about her. With the entrance of scholarship student Hazel Tobias, raised by her much older photographer brother and his male partner, Lily finds both a new friend and a way to demonstrate her new subversiveness. Besides reliably recreating the dynamics of teen-girl friendship, Koja (Kissing the Bee ) relays this story with her usual insight and, through her lightning-fast characterizations, an ability to project multiple perspectives simultaneously. The narrative jumps between the ongoing academic year and its end, a fractured chronology that shades each early encounter with extra significance. Brief reports or memos, mostly from various members of faculty and staff, remind readers that Lily is not always the best judge of her own behavior, and that it is up to the audience to fill in the openings that Koja shrewdly leaves. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
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