From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Three friends take a trip to Cancun for spring break in this novel about the dangers of trusting strangers. Told in the alternating voices of Michelle, the victim of assault and abduction, and her friend Anne, the story reads with the poetic lyricism of Francesca Lia Block and the thrills of teen-scream novels such as Lois Duncan's I Know What You Did Last Summer
(S & S, 1998). When Michelle, Anne, and Terri land at the Hotel del Sol, they have different ideas of what they want from their vacation. Terri, a gorgeous blonde, disappears early in the novel to enjoy the benefits of the sun, sand, and drinking. Meanwhile, Michelle longs to take in Mexico's ancient temples and cultural history. Anne decides to follow her to the Mayan ruins. While there, the girls break one of the major rules their parents warned them about: don't take rides from strangers. The boys seemed like normal, American Midwestern teenagers but, when they drug Michelle's water, Anne quickly realizes that they are in a life-threatening situation. The story builds slowly, but readers who continue through to the end will find that the pace increases. An excellent choice for fans of the author's Boy Heaven
(HarperCollins, 2006) and other teen thrillers.—Marie C. Hansen, New York Public Library
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Terrible things can happen to high-school girls on spring break in Cancún. Vacationing Illinois teens Michelle and Anne know that; it’s just one of many warnings they’ve heard over the years from their mothers. Michelle becomes more apprehensive after Anne becomes mesmerized by Ander, an older man who takes them to Chichén Itzá and talks of Quetzalcoatl and blood sacrifice. But it is the familiar-seeming high-school boys they should have feared. Told in alternating chapters by Michelle in the third-person present tense and Anne in first-person past, this eerie story of attempted date rape and Anne’s absorption into the Mayan world will enthrall teen readers who have a taste for magical realism. The quiet, sinister beauty of the jungle contrasts with the frenzy of American teenagers determined to have fun; both are at the same time seductive and repulsive. From the opening sacrificial encounter to the very end, Kasischke maintains both mystery and suspense. A satisfying treatment of a familiar topic in a fresh and intriguing setting. Grades 9-12. --Kathleen Isaacs
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