Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teen/YA Review: Prism

You know an audio book is good when you get to your destination and don’t want to get out of the car. That happened to me recently when I listened to the new teen/YA novel Prism by Faye and Aliza Kellerman, a mother-daughter writing team (and wife and daughter to best-selling author Jonathan Kellerman). I arrived home and ran in the house to stick the CD into our home player so I could finish listening to this exciting and suspenseful story, and I kept listening until I got to the end. I don’t think I’ve ever finished an audio book in so little time.

The action begins with a class trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Kaida Hutchenson isn’t thrilled to find out she’s been assigned to ride in a van (for 14 hours) with swimming jock Zeke Anderson and smarty-pants loner Joy Tallon. Partway through the long and boring drive, a terrible accident occurs, and Kaida, Zeke, and Joy suddenly find themselves not only stuck together but trying to survive alone in the desert together. During a storm, they take refuge in a cave. Suddenly, there’s a blinding flash of light in the black cave, and the next thing Kaida knows, she’s waking up in her own bed back home.

Did she dream the whole awful ordeal? As Kaida numbly goes through the motions of her school day, she discovers that everything is just a little bit different than she remembers. With no other options, she must again band together with Zeke and Joy to try to figure out what happened and how to get back to the reality they know.

This imaginative thriller is not only fast-paced but also very well-written. The excellent voice talent of reader Jenna Lamia adds to the audio book’s appeal. You can tell that a teen helped to write this novel (Aliza is a junior in high school) because its dialogue sounds natural and true. Plus, the plot and concept of the book are fascinating to consider. I highly recommend this book to teens, young adults, and even older pre-teens (as well as adults!)

HarperCollins, 272 pages

Click here to listen to a sample of the audio book Prism.

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