The Light Fantastic

Sarah Combs. Candlewick, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7851-7
Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, another crisis is brewing. Someone known as “the Mastermind” is using an online forum to lure students into becoming assassins. Meanwhile, potential victims carry on with business, regretting mistakes and pondering life, unaware of how their past and present actions could make them targets. In a psychologically taut novel structured in short vignettes that alternate among multiple viewpoints, Combs (Breakfast Served Anytime) delves into the thoughts of could-be killers and their prey to show unique frailties, as well as a common yearning for happiness. Cursed with a near-perfect memory for dates, April only wants to forget the tragedies marking the days of her birthday month. Miles away, April’s childhood friend Lincoln is trying to figure out the mystery of a girl he’s attracted to. Another girl, Phoebe, has trouble finding joy and connection to loved ones after a crushing humiliation. Although readers may feel the author’s hand controlling the characters and plot too heavily at times, the narrative voices are genuine and moving. Unexpected moments of tenderness and salvation cast a shining light into the dark realities presented. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5226-5598-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5226-5596-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5226-5594-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-5595-4
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