cover image Janie Face to Face

Janie Face to Face

Caroline B. Cooney. Delacorte, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-385-74206-1

The fifth and final installment of Janie Johnson's story brings the series that started more than two decades ago with The Face on the Milk Carton to a highly gratifying close. Janie—who in high school discovered that the family that raised her was not the one she was born to—is now in college, keeping her complicated past to herself to make a fresh start in New York City. When a true-crime author wants to use Janie as the subject of his next book, a complex chain of events propels her back into the arms of her onetime boyfriend, Reeve. Meanwhile, Janie's long-ago kidnapper, Hannah, embarks on a vengeful quest. Quick, short scenes and plenty of crosscutting between numerous characters' points of view keep the story moving with breathless momentum. Cooney generates a compassionate and thorough sense of closure by interweaving brief updates on nearly every individual—teenager or adult—that has appeared in the series. Though there's never much doubt that Janie, Reeve, and Hannah will end up where they ought to be, it's a treat to watch them get there. Ages 12 – up. (Jan.)