SIGHTS by Susanna Vance


Age Range: 9 - 14
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An odd, awkward first novel that tries so hard that it loses its way. Fourteen-year-old Baby Girl has been special since the moment of her birth. Her mother and friends tell her as much at every turn. Not only is her beauty unmatched, but her ability to see into the future makes her undeniably popular. When she and her mother flee her highly abusive father and resettle in the small, cliquish town of Cot, Baby Girl is confronted with just how little her beauty really means. At her new high school, she is a gawky, weird outsider, her beauty paling beside the cheerleaders, and her “sight” only alienating those whose future she predicts. Over the course of her freshman year, Baby Girl learns that loyalty and integrity count for much more than beauty. Many teen novels feature protagonists who must delve deeper than looks for real meaning in their lives, but this story relies too much on clichés of the ’50s for its impact. Outfits and hairstyles are described in detail, dialogue is stilted and too full of colloquialisms, and several characters are just too offbeat to be believable. Even so, if it weren’t for the dreadful made-for-TV ending, it might have survived. But what could have been an interesting coming-of-age story is instead heavy-handed and corny. Although based on a worthwhile premise, Sights misses its mark. (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-32761-7
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2000