A trio of teens afflicted with a rare genetic disorder that necessitates complete avoidance of sunlight dedicate themselves to the practice of the extreme sport of Parkour in this interesting but somewhat complicated thriller.
Allie, Rob and Juliet have Xeroderma Pigmentosum and have grown up as outsiders, leading their lives while the rest of the world sleeps. Introspectively narrated by Allie, who often feels in the shadow of Juliet, the daredevil of the three who introduces them to Parkour, this latest from Mitchard is quickly paced and intricately plotted, with flares of humor cobbled into the dialogue. While scaling a building one night, Allie glimpses something in a window that deeply unsettles her. It’s made worse when Juliet seems to deliberately doubt her. The mystery that unfolds around them places them in grave danger. As Allie’s feelings for Rob are finally reciprocated, introducing realistic tension into their friendship, Juliet seems to be increasingly lost to them. So much is packed in here that some may have difficulty keeping track of characters and their motivations at times, but the suspense will keep them engrossed.
Groans may greet the final abrupt cliffhanger, as readers suddenly understand that resolution will come only with a sequel, but most will likely resolve to stay tuned. (Thriller. 14 & up)