Books by Natalie Fast

THE SECRET APARTMENT by Natalie Fast
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 25, 2005

Delightful and surprising, this story starts out being a lightly humorous fish-out-of-water tale about Jillian, an 11-year-old girl still mourning the death of her father and moving to New York City after her mother marries a wealthy widower. Besides a fabulous apartment, the widower has a spoiled 13-year-old daughter who still aches for her recently deceased mother and is furious that her father remarried and that she temporarily has to share her bedroom. After a brief satirical foray into Jillian's silly new-age art camp, the story shifts gears, becoming a Rear Window-inspired suspense tale about a kidnapped boy. The author works hard to keep the material frothy, giving Jillian several fun allies and forcing her to work with her not-so-evil stepsister, but the suspense portion of the narrative jars slightly as the situation is life-and-death serious and the conclusion strains credibility. Nonetheless, the protagonist is winning and inventive, and readers will be rooting for her whether she's making a friend, feuding with her stepsister or scheming to free a kidnapped teen. (Fiction. 8-12)Read full book review >