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a unique voice and a tight plot

  • Apr 24, 2012
Ellie's sister Nina disappeared two years ago.

Ellie isn't sure who she is or what her life is supposed to be now that she doesn't have her sister. Beautiful, artistic and a little wild, Nina is everything Ellie could want in an older sister. Ellie can only imagine what it must be like to be that kind of person.

Until Nina is gone. Then Ellie just wants her back. Even if two years later that is seeming less and less likely.

When Ellie finds a drawing that can only have been done by her sister, Ellie knows it's a sign. Nina is out there somewhere and this is Ellie's chance to make everything right. If she can follow the clues surely she can find Nina wherever she is and bring her home.

With the help of her mysterious crush, Ellie sets off on a road trip following Nina's trail. Along the way she'll meet some unlikely misfits and realize that she might be more like her sister than she thought in 'Wherever Nina Lies' (2009) by Lynn Weingarten.

'Wherever Nina Lies' is Weingarten's first novel. (She has since followed up with the off beat fantasy 'The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers'.)

'Wherever Nina Lies' is a fast-paced mystery that takes readers across the country and on an emotional roller coaster as Ellie unravels the truth about Nina's disappearance. Weingarten weaves a masterful mystery filled with so many twists and unexpected turns that even when I skimmed ahead I was completely floored by the shocking finish.

In addition to a thrilling, satisfying mystery 'Wherever Nina Lies' is filled with clever characters and exotic locations that bring Ellie's journey to life. Flashbacks interspersed throughout Ellie's search add a second dimension to the story as readers get a glimpse of the relationship Ellie and Nina shared as well as Ellie's regrets when it comes to her sister.

With a unique voice and a tight plot, 'Wherever Nina Lies' is a must read for readers who like a bit of suspense with their road trip adventures.

Possible Pairings: 'Frost' by Marianna Baer, The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd, Clarity by Kim Harrington, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, 'How to Save a Life' by Sara Zarr

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About this product


Grade 8 Up—Ellie's beloved, artistic, and wild older sister disappeared two years ago. By chance, Ellie finds one of Nina's drawings in a donation box at a thrift store, and with the help of her friend Amanda, who works there, she tracks down the guy who donated the box, leading her on a chase all over the country to find her missing sister. At a party in town, she meets Sean, a guy from a local prep school who thinks fate brought them together. His brother died a few years ago, and he'd do anything to get him back, so he relates to Ellie, and the next thing they know they're driving from their suburb in Illinois to Nebraska, Colorado, and California, following clues. An unbelievable plot—Ellie's mom doesn't care that her daughter is missing for days, Amanda lets her friend run off with a complete stranger, and Nina has made no effort to contact her family despite the ability to do so with the help of police and the Internet—combined with sloppy writing—makes this one hard to recommend, despite the intriguing premise. The story takes an abrupt turn toward a Lifetime movie when Ellie figures out that Sean murdered his brother, who was, in fact, Nina's boyfriend, and that he plans to murder both her and Nina. This road-trip novel pales in comparison to John Green'sPaper Towns(Dutton, 2008).—Jennifer Barnes, Homewood Library, IL
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