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The snowy prep school setting is the perfect backdrop for Werlin's (The Killer's Cousin) chilling and well-constructed mystery. Her narrator is a unique creation, a girl who begins to discover herself as she unravels a huge conspiracy. Frances Leventhal, half Jewish and half Japanese and confused about her identity, comes from a dysfunctional family: her father writes unpublishable science fiction and her mother has entered a Buddhist monastery in Osaka. Attending the elite Pettengill School only because of a scholarship, she has trouble connecting with anyone except a retarded groundskeeper and her art teacher. However, when her brother dies of a heroin overdose, Frances feels compelled to join the charitable organization that he was obsessed with. But something's not right about Unity Service nor with one of its student leaders, her brother's girlfriend Saskia, who's determined to keep her out. Frances's aptitude for art feels familiar, and her relationship with the groundskeeper, Andy, who's slow but true and calls her by her full name, is a bit too precious, but readers will empathize with Frances and her sense of alienation and longing. Even as Frances and Andy start to put the pieces together, Werlin continues to take readers through unexpected and exciting turns. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr 7 Up-Werlin has written an intriguing story using subtle foreshadowing to build tension and create a sense of urgency while weaving a psychological study of a high school student who has no friends and little self-esteem. Abandoned by her mother and raised by an emotionally distant father, Frances, a teen of Japanese-Jewish descent, struggles to accept herself and cope with her brother's suicide. She recognizes that to come to grips with her guilt and grief, she must understand the reasons behind Daniel's tragic death. Daniel was actively involved with Unity, their private school's charitable organization, but Frances avoided it, even though it was responsible for both siblings' scholarships. She feels the need to carry on his work with Unity despite the unwillingness of the group to accept her. As time passes, she senses that things are not right; teachers, students, and the organization itself are not who they seem to be. What she uncovers puts her own life in danger and leads to some shocking truths about Daniel's life and death. Readers will relate to Frances's internal and external struggles as she tries to sort out the motives of the various characters with whom she comes in contact. Werlin has hit the jackpot with this well-written and masterfully developed novel. A can't-put-it-down mystery thriller.
Susan Geye, Crowley Ninth Grade Campus, TX
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Editorial Reviews
I got the book a long time ago be for it was in final press its a great read for peoplePublished on May 17, 2013 by Assunda Jackson
Oh, Nancy Werlin, so hit or miss. I've previously mentioned my feelings on many of her other books, but suffice it to say that her newer material is light years away in quality... Read morePublished on July 16, 2012 by Runa
I had a very difficult time putting down Black Mirror, not necessarily because I was held at the edge of my seat with suspense, but because the characters were so real that I... Read morePublished on May 13, 2012 by Mirrani
A very fast read, I loved being able to relate to the Jewish stuff. I love the scenes with her trying her brother's drugs, and I love when she stands up to Saskia. Read morePublished on January 9, 2007 by Liz Z
This is a great book. In the beginning I got a little bored, but when the plot started to speed up I got more and more intrested. Read morePublished on December 11, 2006
This book was very suspenseful and had a lot of emotion. It kept you interested the whole way, and had a very surprising ending.Published on July 11, 2006
Frances doesn't want to look in the mirror.She has hidden from the world and herself for years.She had a brother name Daniel who committed suicide and he left behind a note for his... Read morePublished on March 16, 2006 by Tawsha
This is an excellent mystery thiller. It is about a girl named Frances and her bbrother, Daniel, commited suicide. Read morePublished on November 10, 2005
This is an excellent mystery thriller. It is about a girl named Frances, her brother, Daniel commited suicide. She doesn't believe that is true, so she investigates. Read morePublished on November 10, 2005