cover image Girl, Unframed

Girl, Unframed

Deb Caletti. Simon Pulse, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2697-9

A brief list of court evidence prefaces each chapter of this suspenseful novel, indicating that a crime will be committed between its pages, which slowly reveal the wrongdoing and its perpetrator. Sydney Reilly, 15, dreads having to leave her Seattle academy to spend the summer with Lila, her movie star mother who is now renting a San Francisco home from her wealthy boyfriend, Jake. Sydney is wary of real estate developer and art collector Jake, a “real man” who shows signs of being abusive, but she adores his German shepherd, Max, who soon becomes her constant companion. She’s on the beach with Max when she meets Nicco, a dog lover who offers an exciting, passionate distraction from the fear and uneasiness she feels at home. As her romance with Nicco intensifies, tensions rise between Lila and Jake and their arguments turn more violent. Caletti (A Heart in a Body in the World) offers a riveting, meticulously plotted mystery with plenty of drama alongside an exploration of objectification and the male gaze. San Francisco’s sandy beaches, unusual structures, and mysterious caves reflect Sydney’s feelings of loneliness, eeriness, and passion, and her eventual sense of power. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (June) [/em]