cover image Facing the Music

Facing the Music

Margaret Willey. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32104-4

Equally somber but not as disturbing as Willey's Saving Lenny, this intimate story traces the coming of age of a brother and sister mourning their mother's death. Ever since the tragic car accident months earlier, the members of the Franklin family have been drifting apart. Mr. Franklin is busy with his girlfriend, high school senior Mark spends most nights rehearsing with the band he has recently joined and 15-year-old Lisa feels lonelier than ever. Her days take on new meaning, however, when Mark's band partner, Danny, overhears her singing to herself and asks her to be the group's vocalist. Knowing Danny's reputation as a ""mover,"" Mark opposes the idea, but Lisa, who has already fallen for Danny's charm, takes the plunge and quickly becomes a local celebrity. Although Lisa's rise to stardom is somewhat implausible, her infatuation with Danny, which inevitably leads to heartbreak, is painfully realistic.As is the case with the author's previous novels, Willey focuses more on the growth of characters than the formulation of neat resolutions, with the result that her protagonists seem to acquire a life off the page, too. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)