Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Teen/YA Review: Wherever Nina Lies

Lynn Weingarten’s first novel, Wherever Nina Lies, is mystery, thriller, and romance all rolled into one. I really enjoyed this compelling, original story about a sixteen-year old girl on a mission to find her missing older sister.

It’s been two years since Ellie’s beautiful, creative sister Nina disappeared. Nina was a free spirit and seldom at home anymore, but this time, she didn’t return at all. Ellie and her mother have no idea what happened to her or where she is, but Ellie can’t forget her sister and “move on,” as people are always telling her to.

One afternoon, sifting through boxes of donated junk at the store where her best friend, Amanda, works, Ellie finally – after all this time – finds a clue:

A rectangular piece of cardboard with slightly rounded edges, a little smaller than an index card, has fallen out of the book and fluttered to the floor. I reach out and grab it. As soon as my skin touches it, my heart starts pounding, and I feel dizzy, like I’ve been spinning and just stopped. The room tilts. Everything around me looks wrong all of a sudden, and I think maybe I’m going to pass out. I sink to the floor; I’m vaguely aware of Amanda’s voice calling my name, but I can’t answer. She sounds far away and unfamiliar. Everything is unfamiliar, except for one thing. The piece of paper in my hand, covered in blue vines. I stare at them so hard they begin to swirl, like delicate navy thread snakes on a field of white. And in the center of these vines is a drawing of a girl: big round eyes, round face, round nose, crazy hair curling out in all directions, one dimple, a crooked smile. I know this drawing.

Ellie would recognize her sister’s drawing anywhere because she’s been drawing constantly on all sorts of surfaces ever since Ellie can remember. This particular drawing holds clues that lead Ellie off on a crazy, cross-country road trip with a gorgeous guy she barely knows because he’s the only person in her life who seems to understand and believe in her.

Ellie’s journey takes her to new and strange places, as she follows clues to her sister’s whereabouts. Along the way, she falls in love. This mystery contains more twists and turns than a mountain road, though, and Ellie doesn’t know where this trip will lead her. There's nothing I like better than a road trip book! Filled with plenty of suspense and surprises, as well as Nina’s unique drawings, this well-written novel kept me reading late into the night.

(recommended for older teens and young adults; contains some sexual situations, though nothing graphic)

316 pages, Point (an imprint of Scholastic)


Andrea said...

I have been on the fence about reading this, but I might go ahead and try it. Thanks.

Jan von Harz said...

I am with you the more twist and turns the better. great review I will be looking for this one.

Athira said...

Ooh.. glad you liked this! I can't wait to read it!

inca said...

Hi Sue I think both Harriet and myself would enjoy this book,I must confess I don't read enough but my 18 yr old son could open his own book shop and he hopes to study American literature at uni!beckyx

Sue Jackson said...

Hi, Becky -

Glad to see you're enjoying my reviews! Lots of the books I review are teen or Young Adult, so you should find some good recommendations here. I only write reviews of the ones I really like! We are all avid readers, though my 12-year old son would rather do something active usually. My 15-year old son reads one book after another!