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When an accidental dunking in toxic waste gives sixteen-year-old Jared the ability to read minds, he discovers horrifying secrets about family members at the summer reunion
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Grade 6-10-Jared, 16, eagerly anticipates summer vacation at the family seaside compound, where he will see Annelise, for whom he has more than cousinly feelings. But before he joins his extended family, he is pitched into a swamp and covered with industrial waste, thanks to the failure of his bike brakes. At dinner, he is nearly overwhelmed by the storm of intuitive feelings and words that force themselves into his brain. Eventually he understands that his toxic dip has made him a mind reader, and that his convivial family isn't really so happy. Everyone is afraid of angering his wizened grandmother and thereby losing an inheritance. Worst of all, charming Annelise is actually a narcissistic sociopath who remorselessly causes death. When Jared's grandmother blackmails him, he realizes that she, too, is a mind reader. What he can't understand is why she wants to give the power to Annelise, nor can he imagine what the girl might choose to do with it. Interstellar Pig (1984) and The Duplicate (1988, both Dutton) are probably the best crafted and most appealing of Sleator's novels, but this one certainly will be enjoyed. Jared is likable, and his grandmother is absolutely fascinating. The anxiety reflected in the dreams of the boy's codependent mother is a deft touch. Although Annelise's villainy seems a bit heavy, and the denouement takes place rather summarily, the plot is enticing and the pace fast. This is an author who knows exactly what adolescents care about, and he effortlessly hooks them with a few paragraphs of first-person narration. His genius is in taking vague science-fiction whimsy and using imagery to word paint it into a stunning virtual reality. Nobody does it better!-Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The tension never quite pulls tight in this confusing chiller, perhaps because Sleator introduces too many contrivances. Just before a gathering of relatives, Jared, 16, falls into a swamp polluted with toxic waste; soon after, he discovers that he can read minds, learning--to his horror--that outwardly perfect cousin Annelise is a monster who's already responsible for the death of one fancied rival and the attempted suicide of another. Grandma, who has also fallen into the swamp, enlists Jared and another cousin in a byzantine plot to unmask Annelise by covering her in swamp muck and then distributing copies of her conveniently incriminating private journal. Problems with chronology and unlikely incidents--e.g., Jared drinking swamp water without realizing what it is--make for reader incredulity; the dialogue sounds artificial; and Annelise is a mere caricature of a villain, predictable and two-dimensional. A weak story from an author who's done much better. (Fiction. 12-14) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Peter Smith Pub Inc, 2001. Condition: Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP71483029
Book Description Peter Smith Pub Inc, 2001. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0844671878-2-4
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