You Have Seven Messages

Stewart Lewis. Delacorte, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-74028-9
A year after Luna's mother was killed by a cab, 14-year-old Luna, still aching from grief, discovers her mother's cellphone with seven voice mail messages, all with clues about the truth about her mother's life and final moments. From the start, adult author Lewis (Relative Stranger) anchors Luna as independent and self-aware (perhaps overly so), but the promising beginning erodes, as Luna's grief takes a backseat to her search, which starts to feel melodramatic as Luna suspects her mother was having an affair. The already manufactured and implausible premise becomes even less believable after Luna's father gives her an old-fashioned camera for her birthday. Luna photographs Daria, a model she met while traversing New York City to follow up on clues, after which Daria secures a one-woman show for Luna, an agent promises Luna a book deal, and a photo-shoot with the New York Times and a trip to Italy follows. This is due in part to Luna's famous parents, but the book's credibility suffers, making Luna difficult to connect or empathize with. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Open Ebook - 153 pages - 978-0-375-89904-1
Library Binding - 289 pages - 978-0-385-90832-0
Paperback - 289 pages - 978-0-385-74029-6
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