cover image The Second Life of Ava Rivers

The Second Life of Ava Rivers

Faith Gardner. Razorbill, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-47830-6

Almost 12 years earlier, Vera’s family was shattered when Ava, Vera’s six-year-old fraternal twin sister, disappeared. Since then, Vera’s parents have been distant and she keeps to herself at school. But everything abruptly changes when Ava, who has been imprisoned by a kidnapper for more than a decade, is found and returns home. Now, Vera’s mother and father begin to act like parents again; her estranged older brother (who, like the rest of the family, blamed himself for Ava’s disappearance) comes for visits; and Ava’s childhood friend, Max, is back in their lives. Still, there are unanswered questions: Why doesn’t Ava remember her childhood? And why is she reluctant to give information about her kidnapper, whose whereabouts are unknown? Gardner (Perdita) shows compassion as she delves into Vera’s emotions and Ava’s complicated sensibility while making potentially sensational subject matter seem plausible. Fans of The Face on the Milk Carton and Room will revel in the book’s generous supply of suspense, and although readers may separate truth from lies long before the characters do, they will stay anxiously glued to the pages. Ages 14–up. Agent: Claire Anderson-Wheeler, Regal Hoffmann and Assoc. (Aug.)