Joyce Sweeney, Author . Cavendish $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7614-5138-9

Sophie, a high school senior who "breathe[s] poems," is determined to go to college even though she's in the third trimester of her pregnancy. Treated badly at school, she walks an equally uneasy line at home with her single mom: not only does Sophie refuse to reveal who the baby's father is, her mom won't tell her about her own dad. Threatening notes begin to arrive, almost at the same time that she starts having bizarre dreams about whales—and experiencing the inexplicable (e.g., "A minute ago I was in Fort Lauderdale and a bus was going to hit me.... Now... I'm in the water at Biscayne Bay in Miami, miles from where my brain thinks I should be"). Sweeney (Free Fall ) crams a lot of plot lines into this novel, and some are more fleshed out then others. For example, the identity of Sophie's stalker is obvious, and that whole strand seems tacked on. The whales, on the other hand, add magical imagery in line with not only Sophie's pregnancy but also her poetic nature ("The other whales sing wildly, crazily. I urge my baby with my heart—Launch! Launch!"). In the end, readers will admire Sophie's courage and humor and her adamant refusal to accept how "doomed I'm supposed to be"; her narration keeps this story afloat. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
Paperback - 145 pages - 978-0-7614-5329-1
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