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In the River Darkness Hardcover – January 1, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—As much as Mia wants to run from her past, leaving her friends behind and moving to a tiny river town is not her idea of a solution. From the moment she steps out of her parents' car and onto their new property, she resolves to hate everything about it. Maybe if she had stuck to that resolve, she wouldn't have found herself caught between the two boys next door. Alexander, the handsome older brother, who pursues her relentlessly, is almost enough to make her forget about her last boyfriend, and Jay, the mysterious younger sibling, is able to connect with her in a way that few others have. This is not your typical teen romance. The elements of a love triangle are there, but a haunting subplot takes command of the story early on, making the relationships among the three narrators pale in comparison to the well-paced suspense. Readers will be asking themselves what's in the river long after they are done wondering who's in love with whom. Fans of both realistic fiction and paranormal romance are likely to find the story to be a fantastic blend of the two genres. The writing is beautiful, the cover is eye-catching, and the story within does not disappoint.—Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, OR
Mia is a big-city girl who finds herself in a country town when her family relocates for her father’s job. She has brought a secret with her, one she tries to conceal beneath black clothes and goth makeup. She becomes interested in the activity of brothers Alex and Jay Stonebrook, who live next door with their father and grandmother and are at the center of a mystery themselves. This story starts as a fish-out-of-water tale and eventually becomes something else entirely, as each of the three main characters advance the narrative from alternating chapters. The original novel (Im Fluss, 2007) was an award winner in the author’s native Germany, and it has been translated by 2013 Batchelder Award winner Reichel. Despite this pedigree, the story is unevenly paced. The ingredients for a tense and thoughtful piece of magic realism are in place throughout, and the characters ring true. Readers will genuinely be surprised by the reveal at the end, but they will have to be patient to get there. Grades 9-12. --Kara Dean
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