Because of Lissa

Carolyn Meyer, Author
Carolyn Meyer, Author Starfire $2.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-28802-5
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Teen suicide is the theme of this first book in the Hotline series, which concerns high schoolers helping troubled classmates via a telephone hotline. After learning of her best friend Lissa's suicide, Jenny, 17, attempts to understand what motivated so drastic an action. Determined that other students not succumb to the despair Lissa must have privately experienced, Jenny and three friends launch ``Ears,'' a school-sponsored project aimed at listening to the problems of anonymous callers. Although Jenny is the central figure, the narrative is shared by the four characters, which tends to diffuse the story's intensity. Moreover, Lissa could have been drawn more definitively: she and her relationships, presented through flashbacks, seem insubstantial. But although her dialogue occasionally misses its mark, Meyer deserves praise for devoting her latest novel to a disturbing and escalating issue. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)
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