*Starred Review* Lucas feels surrounded by the missing: his sister avoids home, his mother is absorbed in a midlife crisis, his grandfather has dementia, and his journalist father went missing years ago. With so many ghostlike family members, it’s not surprising that Lucas begins to sense a connection with the dead. While waiting in a London office lobby, a funeral urn draws his attention, and he feels an overpowering urge to know the person inside. A string of ensuing coincidences tie him—and his father—to the deceased, Violet, a famous pianist. Is she trying to communicate with him? Lucas embarks on an investigation into her life, and his spine-tingling discoveries allow him to powerfully and finally lay the memory of his father to rest. Lucas’s pitch-perfect voice, the authentic family relationships, the mild psychic element, and the poignant, coming-of-age mystery will stay with the reader long after the book ends. An award-winner in the UK, Valentine’s debut novel shines richly like the polished wood of Violet’s urn. Grades 9-12. --Heather Booth
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Compulsively readable. A memorable new voice.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Lucas’ pitch-perfect voice and authentic family relationships, the mild psychic element, and the poignant, coming-of-age mystery will stay with the reader long after the book ends. Valentine’s debut novel shines richly.” (ALA Booklist (starred review))
“Part mystery, part magical realism, part story of personal growth, and in large part simply about a funny teenager making light of his and his family’s pain, this short novel is engaging from start to finish.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Valentine sets in motion a dark comedy. The mystery that unravels...will keep readers entertained.” (Horn Book Magazine)
“An impressive debut. Valentine offers a rich cast of characters and marvelous writing.” (Buffalo News)
“Charmingly told, this mystery manages to be both frothy and nourishing.” (Kirkus Reviews)