AMY by Mary Hooper


Age Range: 11 - 15
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A cautionary tale from Britain about love on the Internet demonstrates the influence of online chat on teenage girls on both sides of the Atlantic. When Amy, 15, finds herself on the outs with her best friends since primary school, she retreats to a chat room to find companionship. There she meets the sympathetic and exciting Zed, whose teasing and sophisticated banter provides an exotic refuge from the dreariness of school and home. When Amy meets him in person despite the concerns of both her mother and her new friend and fellow loser Beaky, she finds that he is not as he had represented himself, and moreover has a disturbing lapse of consciousness during a day together on the beach. Could this be related to the mysterious reversal of her shirt and subsequent flashbacks of an unclothed Zed? The narration takes the form of a taped report given by Amy to the police after the event, and the occasional chapter heading indicating the recording time and inclusion of chat transcripts jar with the colloquial and conversational tone of the narrative itself, calling attention to the artifice rather than aiding any real suspension of disbelief. These jolts are few, however, and do not fatally impede the flow of the narrative. There are no surprises in this tale; teens who have had the rules of Internet safety drummed into them will be a step ahead of naïve little Amy all the way. But the near-universal obsession with chat will nevertheless make this an easy sell, and readers will enjoy this vicarious brush with danger. (Fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-58234-793-X
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002


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