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You Have Seven Messages [Kindle Edition]

Stewart Lewis
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

   It's been a year since Luna's mother, the fashion-model wife of a successful film director, was hit and killed by a taxi in New York's East Village. Luna, her father, and her little brother, Tile, are still struggling with grief.
   When Luna goes to clean out her mother's old studio, she's stunned to find her mom's cell phone there—charged and holding seven unheard messages. As Luna begins to listen to them, she learns more about her mother's life than she ever wanted to know . . . and she comes to realize that the tidy tale she's been told about her mother's death may not be the whole truth.
“. . . a lovely contemporary fairy tale, with a sad Upper West Side princess at the heart of it, and that’s a kind of folklore that many readers will enjoy.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Recommended
“The book contains various delights. . . . the love story element shines, and the book offers a nice window into the life of privileged New York youngsters, refreshingly filled with protective and involved adults.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Following Luna through a hazy grief state after the death of her mother is like a beautiful dream. This book takes your hand and leads you on a wonder-filled adventure.”—Melissa Walker, author of Small Town Sinners
“Luna is someone to weep with and to cheer for, to wish was your best friend. Readers will fall in love with Luna and her dazzling world.”—Emily Wing Smith, author of Back When You Were Easier to Love

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

STEWART LEWIS is the author of the novels Rockstarlet and Relative Stranger. He is a singer-songwriter and radio journalist who lives in New York City and western Massachusetts. For more information, visit

From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



I may be fourteen, but I read the New York Times. I don't wear hair clips or paint my cell phone with nail polish, and I'm not boy crazy. I don't have a subscription to Twist or Bop or Flop or whatever they call those glossy magazines full of posters of shiny-haired, full-lipped hunks.

Whatever you do, don't call me a tween. That makes me feel like I'm trapped in some adolescent purgatory where I get force-fed Disney-themed cupcakes while watching Hannah Montana reruns--that stage is over. Who came up with that name, anyway? I bet the person who came up with the name Hannah Montana gets paid a quarter of a million dollars a year and drives a Lexus. My cousin could've come up with a better name, and she's five and rides a tricycle.

I grew up in Manhattan on the Upper West Side, and when I was really little, I thought my driver was my father. He'd take me to school every day and make sure my shoelaces were tied. Sometimes he'd let me listen to NPR while he chatted with the doormen. He seemed to know them all, a secret society of men in pressed black coats standing as straight as the buildings they protected. But of course, he wasn't my father. My real father is a film director who was at the height of his career when I was born, which is why he was never around. He was always shooting in places like Africa, Japan, Australia, and Canada. Now some critics say he's washed up, but I think the reason people become film critics is because they failed to be film directors themselves. I don't usually feel famous myself, but I went to the premiere of his last film (the one that supposedly washed him up) and a couple months later there was a picture of us in Vanity Fair. My overenthusiastic English teacher, Ms. Gray, cut out the picture and taped it to the whiteboard. At first I was thrilled, but then I felt weird about it. I ended up sneaking in after class and bending the page so that you could only see my father, with his shiny face, his jet-black hair, and those wire-thin glasses that always seem to be sliding off his nose. He's the one who should be recognized. He literally spends years putting actors, writers, cinematographers, editors, studios, and locations all in a big blender until his movies pour out smoothly onto the screen. All I did that evening was walk next to him and carry the cheat sheet for his speech.

My little brother, Tile, was too young to come to the premiere with us or have his photo taken. When my mom was pregnant with him, the only thing that helped her nausea was lying on the cold Spanish tile in our townhouse bathroom, so that became his name. Everyone calls him Kyle by mistake.

My uncle, a professor who lives in Italy, gave me a small book of Shakespeare's sonnets for my tenth birthday, and sometimes I read Tile my favorite ones. Even though he's ten, he pretends to understand them. I think he just likes the musical way the words go together. Tile is a good listener, and he leaves me alone pretty much every time I ask him to. If a genie said I could wish for any little brother in the whole world, I would stick with Tile. He smells nice and never talks with his mouth full. He also keeps my secrets.

Here's one: I know I told you that I'm not boy crazy, mostly because boys are dirty and unpredictable, but there is one I've had my eye on since I was eight. He is very clean. He lives across the street and our drivers are friends. He goes to a school somewhere outside the city. I like to imagine it's an exotic place like Barbados, but it's probably in Westchester. He's only said ten words to me in seven years. Sometimes when I read Shakespeare's sonnets I think of his big mop of strawberry curls, and the way he swings his book bag in wide circles.

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,

Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground

He's one year older than me, and his name is Oliver. He walks with a peculiar grace, almost like he's floating. He also plays the cello, and he's so good at it that when I listen to him through my bedroom window, the tiny hairs on my arms stick up.

Sometimes I lie on my bed imagining the music was written just for me, coming in through the window as a personal serenade. Music sounds better when you close your eyes.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1734 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00ERNO6DI
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (September 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4X2YO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,091 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Endearing, coming of age story December 23, 2011
"But how do you really know what's true? Is there some big book of truth?" "The book is here." She placed her hand where my heart is.

Imagine discovering what you thought was true about your family might be nothing more than a lie?

Fifteen year old Luna, who lives in Central Park West, is still grieving the death of her super model mother when she stumbles upon her cell phone a year later and finds it's still in working order with seven new messages on it. The rational thing to do would be to delete them but curiosity wins out and Luna decides to listen to each one in order. She still has questions surrounding her mother's death and thinks the messages will provide the answers she so desperately wants. All of the messages will have a lasting effect on Luna even the mundane ones but the rest will turn her world upside down and threaten to destroy her once happy family.

Stewart Lewis writes an endearing story about a young girl's journey to piece together the puzzle that has now become her life. What's truth and what's a lie? How can you tell the difference and is it really worth knowing?

When Luna makes the decision to listen to the messages, life as she knows it changes. She makes new friends, uncovers a talent she didn't know she had, falls in love for the first time and learns that hearts can be as fragile as glass. She also discovers no one is perfect, the truth isn't always black and white and love and forgiveness go hand in hand.

One of the first messages Luna listens to leads her to Daria, a model she meets through a mutual friend of her mother's. They quickly become friends and Daria takes on an older sister role in her life while also strongly encouraging Luna's photography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review - You Have Seven Messages October 18, 2012
By Kris
Luna is a sweet girl, someone that tweens will be able to relate to. She's at that stage where she's turning into a girl and developing an interest in boys (well, one particular boy), but she's awkward and not very confident in herself. It takes searching for the truth of what happened the day her mom died and meeting people who crossed paths with her mom for Luna to come to terms with her identity and what she wants to do with her life. This was all I could glean of her character, however. I feel as though I didn't really get to know Luna in relation to the other characters. Most of the story is filled with internal ruminations and Luna going from one place to another in search of the truth about her mother. There were some characters that I liked in particular: Daria and Tile. Daria is a super-cool model who helps Luna sort out her feelings and gives her the womanly support Luna lacks in her life right now. Tile is the sweetest little brother ever, wise for his years, though he often talks using the cheesiest movie lines ever. It adds to his charm.

Oftentimes, the dialogue felt forced and poorly written. I had trouble seeing people say some of the lines the way that they do. It didn't feel natural. I also found it odd that Luna would only listen to one of the messages at a time and then spend so much time trying to figure out what happened to her mom. This is a big deal to her, yet she's finding time to take photographs and move on with life at the same time that she's listening to these messages. I know that life goes on, but it's pretty strange to me that Luna is able to do all these things while there are messages waiting for her to listen to them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging, quiet novel October 23, 2011
A year ago, Luna's mother was hit and killed by a taxi, and she's been grappling with the loss ever since. One day she visits her mother's studio and discovers her mother's phone, still plugged into its charger. On it, she finds seven unheard messages. Luna starts listening to them, and in doing so, discovers things she never knew about her mother and her parents' relationship. And throughout her investigation for the truth about the events the night her mother died and closure, Luna grows up and begins testing her own boundaries.

Stewart Lewis has written an engaging coming of age novel with a great concept. Luna's discovery of the phone is like recovering a lost piece of her mother that she never got to know, and everything she learns forces her to grow up quickly. Her voice sounds as if it should belong to someone older than fifteen years old despite her immaturity at the beginning of the novel. As the plot meanders along, she is introduced to her parents' world of fame, secrets, and the issues that come up with them. Luna is a refreshingly grounded narrator for the daughter of a famous director and model, though the book does get a little self indulgent when certain celebrities begin popping up throughout the book. Luna's romance with Oliver, the boy next door under extreme pressure from his own parents, is sweet and real for a first love portrayal, though Oliver's excuses for their relationship issues come across as a bit flimsy. However, readers will respond positively to the happy ending for the young couple. You Have Seven Messages is a good, quiet novel about one girl's pursuit for truth in life, love, and second chances, and a nice first book for Lewis. Keep an eye on this author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Daniel L. Van Nett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 3 months ago by Theresa Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgive, Forget Understand, Value
Okay let's be honest I really loved this book. The romance was good and the adventure to what kind of a person Moon's mother really was is awesome. Read more
Published 9 months ago by This is a pen name
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 months ago by Cathy Wiinikainen
3.0 out of 5 stars Odd Ending
I really liked the idea behind this book. The mystery, I felt, was solved a bit too early. We, as readers, knew what happened and still had about 20 pages to read in order for the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kayla Kuni
4.0 out of 5 stars The Search-Book Review
Many people have different relationships with their mother, whether they are happy and close, or sad and distant. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Carla C Gregorio
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I bought this over the summer and waited until now to read it and I only wish I had read it sooner. I literally couldn't put it down once I began reading and finished it in one... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept and great from beginning to end!
I loved this book. Read it in one day. I have never read this author, Stewart Lewis, before, but he writes like a woman thinks. I would thought that a woman wrote it. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Marcy Aldridge
3.0 out of 5 stars Went on too long...
I loved the book up to a certain point and I loved all of the characters, but there were two things that killed the book. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Emma White
5.0 out of 5 stars A plane ride
I actually met this author while on a plane to vacation and we were talking about writing and he told me about his book. I just finished it and I relished every moment of it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Caity Enroth
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