ALWAYS WATCHING by Brandilynn Collins


The Rayne Tour, Book 1
Age Range: 14 & up
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Backstage drama and murder in this series opener. Touring is part of life for 16-year-old Shaley, whose mom is the lead singer in a rising rock band. After Shaley finds the body of a murdered tour staff member, she decides to solve the mystery, especially as the clues seem to lead to her absent father. The authors waste no time with character development but leap straight into the semi-glamorous life of a rock star’s child. Shaley reads like a watered-down conglomeration of the pop celebrities of the 2000s, to the point that the premise seems dated already. The Collinses (a mother-daughter team) divide the narrative between Shaley and the serial killer, using the split views to give insight into the (pallid) motivation for the murders. One interesting note is the almost complete absence of religion from the text, which is surprising for a Zonderkidz book. Shaley’s deceitful and creepy unidentified father figure creates an uncomfortable parallel with the concept of a watchful God instead of acting as an intended foil. Readers will have to keep looking for well-written, cutting-edge teen Christian fiction. (Mystery. YA)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-310-71539-9
Page count: 215pp
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2009