In this YA thriller, a teen with the ability to see the face of a killer or an assailant through a victim’s eyes remains in danger of the culprit spotting her as well.
In many ways, Carlie Henson is a typical 15-year-old. Though she’s endured lows, like her parents’ divorce, she’s more than content with handsome, doting boyfriend Dillon Daniels. But a decade ago, she displayed an unusual ability: She saw the victim of an unsolved murder on TV and, via the eyes, knew who the killer was. She gave a detailed description to her mother, Linda Cooper, a police sketch artist. This frighteningly linked Carlie to the predator, who nearly succeeded in abducting her. She now lives with her overprotective mom, who fears what might happen if Carlie looks into a victim’s eyes again. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the teen does after realizing that a recent unidentified body is one of her friends from school. The strong possibility that the murderer, whose face she’s now seen, will come looking for her is a constant threat and could be perilous for Linda, Dillon, and Carlie’s friend Jenna Bradshaw. Furthermore, Carlie learns that the eyes of a person who’s suffered an attack will likewise show her a perpetrator—who’s no less menacing. Supernatural faculty notwithstanding, Ward (Glimpses of Wilderness, 2017, etc.) deftly underlines a teenager’s sometimes-turbulent life. Carlie and Dillion’s relationship is the book’s richest element; there’s an unmistakable physical attraction, but it’s coupled with genuine affection from both sides. Carlie has her flaws (using her power covertly requires the occasional lie) but is empathetic. For example, she holds an impromptu Sweet Sixteen party for Jenna after hearing that her friend missed out on one. Details on Carlie’s ability are vague though not abstruse; it’s abundantly clear she’s seeing the culprit’s face. There’s still mystery, too, as Carlie, even if seeing an individual, doesn’t necessarily know his or her identity. Still, attempts at defining her power produce blunders: Multiple characters, including a therapist, erroneously call it telekinesis.
A commendable, gifted protagonist who bravely confronts both villains and adolescence.