Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Malinda Lo
For ages 14 and up
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012   ISBN: 978-0316197960

Reese and her debate team partner, David, are in Phoenix, waiting in the airport after doing poorly in the national debate contest. Reese is in a very bad mood and she is doing her best to ignore David, who she has had a crush on for ages. The teens and their debate coach are about to get on their plane to San Francisco when they see a TV news announcement. They learn that several planes have crashed, and it is suggested that bird strikes might be responsible for the accidents. When more planes around the country crash, and the FAA decides to ground all planes in the United States.

Reese, David, and their teacher, Mr. Chapman, decide that the best thing to do is to rent a car and drive back to San Francisco. When they stop to buy gas in a gas station near Las Vegas, a man tries to hijack their car and he shoots and kills Mr. Chapman. Reese and David manage to get away. They think they are safe and are driving past Area 51 when a bird flies in front of their car and they crash.

When Reese wakes up she is in some kind of hospital. She is told that she and David were badly injured in the car accident but that they are now on the road to recovery thanks to some “advanced medicine that isn’t available to the general public.” Apparently they were both in a coma for almost a month. Reese is covered with bruises and scars and she feels very weak and confused.

Before Reese goes home to San Francisco, she is asked to sign a document saying that she will not tell anyone about what happened to her. Reese signs the document without really reading it, and then she and David are flown home.

Back at home, Reese notices that the big scars on her body are fading very fast, faster than they should, and  itisn’t long before they are all gone. There is no sign on her body that she was ever in a terrible car crash. She still has headaches though, and she also has strange sensations when she around certain people, weird feelings that she cannot explain.

Then Reese meets an attractive and charismatic girl called Amber and her life takes another strange turn. Reese and David both begin to realize that they have changed in some fundamental way, and they also feel that they are being watched. Something very strange is going on.

In this thrilling novel, interesting characters and an unpredictable plot give readers a unique, sometimes chilling, reading experience. Just when readers think they finally know the truth, something else happens and more puzzling questions are presented.