cover image Mirage


Tracy Clark. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-544-51790-5

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Sharpe has successfully jumped out of an airplane more than 250 times: she loves the adrenaline rush, and it helps that her ex-Army father owns a skydiving business in the Mojave Desert. But Ryan can't garner his approval no matter how well she jumps, so she attempts to get her high elsewhere by trying LSD, only to wind up in the hospital. Now a pair of eyes haunts her in mirrored surfaces. Has death come to collect? Has the hallucinogenic drug made her schizophrenic? Is something supernatural to blame? First-person narration lends immediacy and intimacy to Ryan's story as her struggles to regain her sanity and former life only lead her to alienate everyone around her. Clark's diverse cast (Ryan is biracial, her best friend is gay) and descriptive language add depth to this psychological thriller, though Clark (the Light Key trilogy) tends to overemphasize both. While the otherworldly elements build suspense, their presence in an otherwise realistic story downplays the dangerous side effects of using psychedelic drugs. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (July)