LOCKED INSIDE by Nancy Werlin


Age Range: 12 - 15
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From Werlin, a meaty tale of self-discovery, wrapped in encounters between two computer gamers and a dangerously unstable kidnapper. Poster child for passive-aggressive behavior, hyper-wealthy orphan Marnie has blown off her studies in favor of spending hours online as the sorceress Llewellyne, battling monsters and a sharp rival known as Elf in virtual Paliopolis. Closed-off and hostile since the death of her unwed mother, Skye (a gospel singer turned author of uplifting bestsellers), Marnie pays the price for her self-imposed isolation: Leah, a teacher from her exclusive private school, kidnaps her, imprisons her in a windowless cellar room, and tremulously informs her—at gunpoint—that they are secret half-sisters. Enter Elf, actually a shaved-head prep school senior named Frank, who dashes to the “rescue” just in time to bollix Marnie’s escape, becomes another hostage, then sticks around afterward to teach her about friendship. Although the kidnapping, for all its high-pitched drama, adds a measure of suspense, this is more about Marnie’s learning how to let her mother go, which she does, but not before Leah shoots herself, Frank exhibits some endearing vulnerability beneath a veneer of macho rebellion, and brutal revelations about Skye’s past emerge. Leaving much between the lines, Werlin concocts a thriller for thoughtful readers. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-32700-5
Page count: 260pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1999


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