A community-service trip to Mexico lands four teens in the middle of an expedition that could lead either to the discovery of priceless treasure or toward certain death.
A scholarship student, self-professed history nerd and diving fanatic, Annie Fleet finds herself out of her depth with the other students from her elite private school. But when her history teacher, Mr. Alvarez, chaperones a trip to help hurricane victims, Annie signs up. In addition to her volunteer work, Annie hopes to find time for treasure hunting, diving and maybe even romance. Unfortunately her crush, Josh Rebstock, does not seem to share in her plans. Only days into the trip Alvarez reveals that the community service is just a cover. They are there to try and recover Cortés’ priceless Golden Jaguar, an enormous, solid-gold statue stolen from the Aztecs and then lost—or possibly die trying. Detailed information about scuba diving and history showcase the author’s research, but the convoluted plot is devoid of energy. Annie’s infatuation with the narcissistic Josh focuses more on his dimples and his biceps than any true connection. Lacking both heart-pounding adventure and heart-racing romance, this trip to Mexico is a complete mess.
X definitely does not mark the spot. (Fiction. 12 & up)