From Publishers Weekly
High schooler Miranda describes her persona as "vital, vibrant and visible," a sharp contrast to her inner self, which she views as an "empty shell," a "kernel of fear" rattling within. Throughout this introspective novel readers will see both aspects of the troubled teen, who believes she may inherit deafness, an affliction shared by her mother and her maternal grandmother. Hesitant to voice her worries, Miranda feels isolated until she develops a meaningful relationship with a visiting British student. Although various events--learning family history, rescuing a bag lady, narrowly escaping rape, and acting in a Shakespeare play--seem disconnected at first, Mango deftly ties loose ends together as she convincingly traces changes in her heroine's personality and perceptions. Ultimate resolutions may be too pat for some; nonetheless, Miranda emerges as a sympathetic character whose quest for her true identity is absorbing and touching. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Named for a grandmother whom she knows only through a WW II portrait, Miranda feels overshadowed by the woman's mysterious power. Meanwhile, her junior year at a Brooklyn private school brings challenges and changes as she works out who she herself is behind her ``vital, vibrant, visible'' facade. Winning the coveted part of Miranda in The Tempest, she experiences first love with Noel, who sees beyond the roles she plays both on stage and off. In the end, the discovery of some letters by her grandmother reveals long-kept secrets that enable Miranda to come to terms with herself. This coming-of-age tale suffers from problems similar to those in Mango's Just for the Summer (1990): the first-person narrative is stuffed with overdramatic incidents that don't further the plot, and there's little character development: Miranda's mother is depicted mainly in terms of her hearing problems, and her father is the stereotypically remote scientist. Miranda continually reiterates her feelings of being lonely, friendless, insecure, etc., while too many difficult problems get facile solutions. Not bad, but in need of editing. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.