Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Cat Patrick
For ages 12 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Tara Sands
Listening Library, 2012   ISBN: 978-0307711182

Daisy Appleby is, at least at first glance, a normal fifteen year old. She is pretty, gets good grades in school, and loves to read and decorate her room. What only a handful of people know is that Daisy has died five times, and has been brought back to life using a secret drug that is called Revive.

The first time Daisy died was when Daisy was four years old. The school bus she was traveling in crashed into a lake and everyone on board died. Seven of the twenty-one passengers (including the driver) stayed dead, but the rest of the children were brought back to life using Revive. All of the children (with their families) were relocated and given new identities so that no one would figure out what was going on. Since Daisy was an orphan, two agents working on the Revive project became her guardians, posing as her parents when the three of them were around other people.

The last time Daisy died was because she got stung by a bee. She didn’t have her Epipen with her at the time, and when she was stung she went into anaphylactic shock. So now she is starting over, again, in Omaha. She has a new house, a new bedroom to decorate, and a new last name. She has no expectations that this move will be different from the others. But it is.

It all begins when a delightful girl called Audrey becomes Daisy’s friend. Daisy has never really had a best friend before, and having Audrey in her life is a gift. And then there is Audrey’s brother Matt. Matt is the most gorgeous boy Daisy has ever met, and it isn’t long before she is captivated by him. Daisy never expects Matt to reciprocate her feelings, so she is at first stunned and then delighted when he makes it clear that he is as nuts about her and she is about him.

Then Daisy’s lovely life loses its glamor. She finds out that Audrey has an inoperable cancer and that she is dying. Daisy cannot believe that she has been saved from death five times, and yet poor Audrey cannot be saved. Revive only works on people who are basically healthy at the time of their death. It does not work on people who are sick.

Suddenly Daisy’s secret life becomes too painful to bear alone and she decides to tell Matt about her deaths and her bizarre life. Though she knows she could get into huge trouble for telling Matt, she never imagines that revealing her secret might end up costing her her life.

Many of us imagine that it would be fantastic if we could be brought back to life if we died. This thrilling and captivating story explores how this kind of medical knowledge might affect society if it became real. It also explores one young woman’s struggles to come to terms with her life, and what she wants for her future.

Beautifully read by Tara Sands, this is an audiobook that listeners will find incredibly compelling.