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Katrina Leno. Little, Brown, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-44977-9
In this emotionally raw drama, a teenage girl escapes her abysmal home life by conjuring up a fantastical echo of the real world in which everything is perfect. Magpie Lewis’s mother is an alcoholic, her father slept with her aunt, her older sister has left them all behind, and her former best friend no longer speaks to her. Haunted by the initially undisclosed incident that turned her into a social pariah, Mags drifts through life, slowly failing out of school and keeping her few remaining friends at arm’s length. But after she somehow opens a door into the world she calls Near, a world she’s been journaling about, she finds a place where she can finally be happy. In Near, she can have whatever she wants, from a loving family to revenge on those who have wronged her. Leno (Summer of Salt) portrays her traumatized heroine in a way that is both compelling and harrowing, especially as Mags pursues a self-destructive solution to her problems. Leno doesn’t shy away from challenging themes—including substance abuse, toxic friendships, rape, and suicide—and she brings lyrically haunting language to a story filled with inherent darkness. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 05/09/2019
Release date: 04/23/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-0-316-44979-3
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