PRETEND SHE'S HERE by Luanne Rice

PRETEND SHE'S HERE

Age Range: 12 - 15
BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Nearly a year after the death of her best friend, Lizzie, 15-year-old Emily is abducted by Lizzie’s parents to fill the void in their lives.

Emily wakes up in Maine, far from her Connecticut home, to find her hair dyed black and her eyes changed to green by contacts, making her look just like Lizzie. Lizzie’s mother tells her that as long as she cooperates, no harm will come to her or her family. Good behavior earns her a television and meals upstairs. Bad behavior means starvation and isolation. Emily begins to play along, determined to keep her family safe while at the same time finding a way to escape. But with Lizzie’s mother, father, and sister always watching, she fears she will be trapped in this nightmare forever. Then she meets Casey, a musically gifted boy who is legally blind. Together they come up with a plan to help Emily escape her prison. In this psychological thriller that studies the depths of grief, Emily’s empathy for her kidnappers keeps the sensationalism to a minimum by personalizing the betrayal. A preponderance of backstory slows the narrative and deflates the tension. Ultimately this is a story about love and loss threaded through with moments of a tense thriller. All main characters are Irish-American Catholics.

An intriguing concept overtaken by thin characters and poor pacing. (Thriller. 12-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-338-29850-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2018




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenWE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart
by E. Lockhart
ChildrenTHERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins
by Stephanie Perkins
ChildrenCODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein
by Elizabeth Wein