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The Night I Disappeared-Julie Reece Deaver

  • Title: The Night I Disappeared
  • Author: Julie Reece Deaver
  • Released: 2004-08-30
  • Language:
  • Pages: 242
  • ISBN: 0606299254
  • ISBN13: 978-0606299251
  • ASIN: 0606299254

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From Publishers Weekly Admirers of Deaver's Say Goodnight, Gracie may welcome the return of two of that book's protagonists but are likely to end up disappointed: the characterizations here are thin and the plotting will seem obvious to anyone at all familiar with YA problem novels. Jamie Tessman, underachieving daughter of a high-profile attorney mother (Jamie's father died when she was three), has only one friend, Webb, and she has seen him every day since meeting him when she was nine. But this summer they part: Webb backpacks through Europe, and Jamie accompanies her mother to Chicago, where Ms. Tessman is defending a girl in a sensational court case. Her mother works so hard that Jamie is able to conceal the problem that terrifies hershe loses herself in seemingly real fantasies of being with Webb. An accident resulting from one such lapse brings about a trip to the emergency room, where she meets Morgan (fully recovered from the grief and depression that beset her in Gracie) and Morgan's psychiatrist aunt. Deaver plants somewhat clunky clues to Jamie's condition, and not many readers will be surprised when, midway through, Webb turns out to be imaginary, nor when Jamie, in treatment with Morgan's aunt, recovers the memory of the trauma that gave birth to him. The ease of Jamie's recovery equals the superficiality of the setup; this is escapist fare, short on emotional truth. Ages 11-up. (May)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal Grade 8 Up-Jamie Tessman's widowed mother is a powerful attorney, currently working to defend a young woman accused of killing her stepfather. The Tessmans live in Monterey, CA, but the case and trial are in Chicago, so they move there for the summer. Jamie is distraught at having to say good-bye to her dearest friend, Webb, a young man who seems always to be there for her. In Chicago, Jamie is shocked to find herself in a bike accident that was caused, apparently, by nothing except her own lack of awareness of her surroundings. In the emergency room, where she needs only minor patching, she meets Morgan, a girl a year older than herself, and, in the following days, Jamie develops the first friendship she remembers having with someone other than Webb. However, her states of clouded awareness become supplemented by panic attacks and soon her mother acquires psychiatric intervention for her. The psychiatrist is Morgan's aunt, a warm but efficient clinician who, very quickly, is able to establish the truth about Webb's existence and the terrifying trauma at the root of Jamie's emotional distress. Deaver has plotted this tale tightly and there are details to appeal to many reader interests-some suspense, some female bonding, even gourmet food. The psychiatric treatment is incredibly facile and speedy and Jamie's mother runs hot and cold by turns. However, this story goes beyond simplistic light reading to offer glimpses at such issues as how emotions can protect us and how we grow through different stages of recognizing truths in appearances.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. pdf
 
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