Mitchard, Jacquelyn. 2007. Now You See Her.
Jacquelyn Mitchard's first novel for young adults, NOW YOU SEE HER is an excellent example of an unreliable narrator. Unreliable narrators are great for adding suspense. What's real? What's imagined? What's the truth? What's a lie? Perception is everything. Can you unravel the mystery and discern "the truth" before the final page? That is the game of it. As you might have guessed, I really enjoyed this novel.
Opening lines: "Hope is vanishing. Does that sound too dramatic? Okay, fine. It's really just barely dramatic enough. Maybe not even enough. I don't mean "hope" the way they think. How could I explain it to them? They're beyond stupid. They're clueless and retarded. All of them. I hear my mother and father say, "She doesn't realize the gravity of all this..." and I want to yell, Are you crazy? Are you on crack? I'm the one it happened to. So I, like, sort of understand the gravity." (3)
"Hope Shay" is the stage name for Bernadette Romano. She has THE GIFT. Born to be an actor. Born to be the star of the show. She is pushed, pulled, and dragged into the dramatic world of theatre by her mother. Perfection is not only expected, it's demanded. Forced to perform all of her life, to please others, to be the perfect portait of the person her parents expect her to be, it's no wonder that Hope ends up in a "special" place like Miss Taylor's. (Miss Tylers). As Hope's story unfolds the reader really doesn't know who to believe. Did she really fake her own kidnapping? Or does it only seem that way? Was Logan her boyfriend and co-conspirator? Or is he just her delusion. As Hope's world crumbles, everything begins to fall into place. Can she ever just be herself? Can she ever be normal?
NOW YOU SEE HER is very well-written. It's exciting, suspenseful, dramatic, and a real exploration of a psychotic breakdown or episode.
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