Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8235

Sean Stewart, Author, Jordan Weisman, Author . Running Press $17.95 (143p) ISBN 978-0-7624-2656-0

A rapid-fire, interactive text (phone numbers appear throughout) with the immediacy of instant-messaging may well make this rather familiar girl loses boy story a hit with teens. Two days after finding a small needle mark on her left arm, 17-year-old Cathy Vickers is dumped by her 23-year-old boyfriend, Victor Chan. Determined to find out why, Cathy goes to Victor's home to confront him, only to discover that he has disappeared. Cathy rifles through his desk and finds puzzling documents that seem to contradict many of the things Victor has told her. As Cathy digs deeper into Victor's life, she finds herself swept up in a mystery involving what appear to be some unsavory Chinese businessmen and top-secret laboratory work—which climaxes in her kidnapping. Just when readers may think the authors are about to explore deeper issues about the nature of immortality and morality, the narrative quickly turns back to more surface topics. The accompanying handwritten sidebars and illustrations often obscure the text, but teens accustomed to juggling text messages and Web pages will likely overcome these visual challenges, and the documents that Cathy finds are included, giving the book an air of authenticity. Though the dialogue lacks depth, readers will be drawn into Cathy's fast-paced adventure, which takes her into the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/07/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
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FORMATS
Paperback - 143 pages - 978-0-7624-3346-9
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