Age Range: 14 - 18
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An exploration of how, and why, girls can vanish in plain sight.

High school sophomore Iphigenia Murphy has a plan. Her father ignores her, her stepmother abuses her, and her stepbrother has been raping her with tacit all-but-approval. Iphigenia—Iffy, to some—decides that it’s time to find her mother, who left when Iffy was younger, and try to build a new life with her. Loaded up on survival gear, the Italian/Irish teen heads to Forest Park, in Queens, home of childhood memories and the last known location of her mother. Iffy survives scary nights in the park and starts her search during the day, events described in convoluted prose in need of tightening. She’s aided by her new friend Corinne, a white girl with matted hair described as dreadlocks who is also a runaway. Corinne’s trans history comes up once and is never referenced again save for a single line of questioning from Iffy’s new, similarly rootless boyfriend, Anthony (who’s tired of being one of the few black people in Monticello, New York, though his racial identity never intersects with the plot again). Despite the high stakes and heart-wrenching conclusion, the story manages to be somewhat laborious since neither Iffy nor her comrades come across as fleshed-out, intriguing characters but rather devices to drive the ideas forward.

Readable but more successful as a lesson than a novel. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 10th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-9826-1829-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Blackstone
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2020