cover image Stranger in the Mirror

Stranger in the Mirror

Cherie Bennett / Author, Jeff Gottesfeld / Author Simon Pulse

With the plot of Bennett's Life in the Fat Lane taken in reverse, this far-fetched debut novel in the Mirror Image series features a girl who goes from geeky to glam. Fifteen-year-old Callie is nothing like her ""perfect"" older sister, Laurel, who models part-time and locks lips full-time with Jake, the boy of Callie's dreams. But all that changes when Callie finds a heart-shaped remnant from a meteorite shower, places the ""Loverock"" under her pillow and makes a wish: ""Please, let me be beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful. Even more beautiful than Laurel. And, please, let Jake love me."" Pounds drop away, Callie's hair becomes straight and shiny, her eyelashes thicker and curlier, and she is soon caught in Jake's embrace--and caught in the act by Laurel. After Laurel crashes her car and ends up in the hospital, Callie has second thoughts about her new persona, and about Jake's true character. The husband-and-wife team behind University Hospital have teen-speak down pat; the dialogue is clipped and credible. The predictable plot (involving the intermittent appearance of a ""black sedan"" whose occupants are apparently monitoring the Loverock) and labored prose, however, are less polished. Another teen gets her hands on this meteor by story's end, paving the way for the next installment. Ages 11-14. (Dec.)