Reminiscent of A Wrinkle in Time, Greenwood’s debut for teens twists and turns with mysterious men, real bullets and numerous candidates for worst parent ever….
Senior year is already off to a tough start for social misfit Zoey; now Dad’s been kidnapped, the computer file that could save him is missing, autistic brother Ben is getting night visits from Mom’s ghost, and cute high school classmate Pete is hanging around. Despite these complications, Zoey gives developing a social life her best shot, stopping at a party before taking the next investigative step and sometimes worrying more about what to wear than her missing dad. With a side trip down Memory Lane to patch things up with ex–best friend Molly, a meteorite killing a few alpacas, and Pete sharing initials (and more?) with a team of assassins, readers may empathize when Zoey notes that plans change “every fifteen minutes or thereabouts for reasons that don’t seem entirely, sometimes even at all, obvious.” Teens with a philosophical bent may find references to Kant, Nietzsche and Ayn Rand entertaining; those who appreciate adventure over plot will also be entertained, but others will wish an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plot didn’t distract from genuine teen dialogue and Zoey’s frank inner discourse.
Sometimes less really is more—or maybe it’s just less confusing. (Thriller. 14 & up)