IN OVER HER HEAD by Melody Fitzpatrick


From the "Hannah Smart" series, volume 3
Age Range: 9 - 12
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Back for a third outing is 14-year-old Hannah, the breezy white star of her own local television show, this time bound for a treasure hunt that will be filmed for a new on-air project.

The good news is that the treasure hunt will be conducted from the lavish decks of Piper’s father’s yacht. The bad news is myriad: pretty-girl Piper is conniving, competitive, and deceitful; her father, a study in hyperbole, is remarkably controlling and nasty; Hannah’s wished-for love interest is along but seems focused on Piper; and Hannah is very prone to seasickness. Piper does whatever she can to undermine the mostly easygoing Hannah, right up to giving her a powerful sedative tablet that she represents as a seasickness remedy. Hannah is just trying to do a good job while feeling daunted by Piper’s many supposed talents. Stock, white-by-default characters are flat and predictable. Although Piper’s over-the-top machinations and the undersea treasure hunt make waves, Hannah’s blandly effervescent voice contributes little. When Piper publicly owns up to the error of her ways at the conclusion then swiftly finds common ground with her helicopter dad, it presents a somewhat unconvincing (and a bit preachy) feel-good ending. The cover art has little to do with the storyline, but it offers the most humorous aspect of this average tale.

Hannah remains too superficial to ever be engaging. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4597-3160-8
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Dundurn
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2016


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