Addie’s investigation into the source of her hallucinations of a teenage boy is interspersed with flashbacks of her first romance.
Biracial (black/white) Addie’s conversations with a handsome, redheaded, white stranger elicit strange stares, something she’s been accustomed to all her life. When readers see how her best friend, Katy, reacts to stories about him, they will quickly realize that Addie is hallucinating. Eventually Addie also realizes she’s delusional, but she believes that her hallucination has an identity in the real world. She begins researching, convinced that discovering his identity will stop the delusions. However, the investigation’s dramatic tension is somewhat diminished since the interwoven flashbacks have already revealed that the hallucination and Addie’s first boyfriend, Zach, share many physical traits. This makes it easy for readers to conclude they are one and the same, and since Katy obviously knows the truth, Addie’s refusal to simply allow her to share her knowledge also makes the investigation seem unnecessarily drawn out. Readers spend much of the novel waiting for Addie to catch up, though the science-fiction brain surgery that explains both the hallucinations and a secondary plot involving Addie’s emotionally distant family dynamic will be surprising (unless readers have read the back cover blurb, which unfortunately contains many spoilers).
The realistic message about the human heart’s resiliency doesn’t always fully merge with the science-fiction elements. (Science fiction/romance. 12-18)