Can't Look Away

Donna Cooner. Scholastic/Point, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-545-42765-4
In a story about loss, sensationalism, and the double-edged sword of fame, pretty, popular Torrey has "cultivated a loyal following" by posting beauty tips and "haul videos" (showing off recent purchases) online as Beautystarz15. After a drunk driver kills her younger sister, Torrey's views surge into the millions, even though she hasn't uploaded a video since the tragedy. Moving with her parents from Colorado to Texas, Torrey tries to retain her social status but is plagued by nightmares and insensitive online comments, especially after a video leaks, showing her fighting with her sister the day of the accident. When Torrey meets handsome Luis, the outcast son of a funeral home owner, they form a close and candid bond that will never fly with the popular girls at her new school. She also must decide how to handle her return to being Beautystarz15 and grapple with her grief both personally and publically. While Cooner (Skinny) builds Torrey's emotional life skillfully and tackles complex moral questions, the ideas she introduces are not explored in enough depth to make Torrey's transformation entirely believable. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/04/2014
Release date: 08/26/2014
Genre: Children's
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-8583-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-4995-2
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-545-63401-4
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-545-42766-1
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