After 17-year-old Stella walks in on a murder, she moves from Philadelphia to rural Nebraska as part of the witness protection program. Leaving behind her boyfriend and drug-addicted mother, Stella tries to eke out a new life under the watchful eye of a retired cop. Over time, she takes a liking to the simple life and her new friend Chet, just as her past threatens to catch up to her. Fitzpatrick’s (Black Ice) brand of page-turning, plot-twisting suspense is conspicuously absent in a narrative that focuses more on Stella’s emotional turmoil than the threat of being hunted down. That may be why the climax feels more like a pit stop on the way to a happy ending. It’s inevitable that Stella will have to face her past, but a revelation regarding the depth of her lies is lackluster and the resolution too tidy. Essentially a feel-good romance masquerading as a thriller, with an unlikely ending in which the bad guys get what’s coming to them, and the good guys get their happily ever after. Ages 14–up. Agent: Catherine Drayton, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015 Release date: 11/10/2015 Genre: Children's
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