A Lie For A Lie
February 28, 2017
A Lie for a Lie
Robin Merrow MacCready. Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9109-0
A teenager grapples with anxieties past and present in Edgar winner MacCready’s (Buried) gripping coming-of-age tale. Kendra Sullivan and her best friend Jenn have decided that this summer, after their junior year of high school, will be a “breakout” one for them: Jenn plans to pursue an older boy she likes and Kendra wants to conquer the anxiety that has plagued her since she almost drowned in a boating accident at age seven. But things are complicated, not so much by the girls’ forays to the local teen hangout of Strawberry Island near Portland, Maine, but by the revelation that Kendra’s father is having an affair. Jenn, a somewhat blasé child of divorce, tells Kendra to leave it alone, but Kendra doggedly pursues her father’s infidelity, following him around town and taking incriminating photographs with the camera she always carries. Though the novel’s ending is tidy, MacCready does an admirable job of conveying the push and pull between childhood allegiance to one’s parents and the realization that the people who raised you are just that: people. Ages 12–up. Agent: Wendy Schmalz, Wendy Schmalz Agency. (Feb.)
"...this mystery is a savvy family drama with a romantic frame, a great setting, and just enough edge to create suspense." -Booklist
School Library Journal
A Lie for a Lie
Kendra Sullivan plans to have a “breakout summer,” determined to leave her crippling panic attacks behind. Kendra always has her camera. When her stress begins to surface, she pulls the camera up for protection, as if looking through a lens is safer than actually having the experience. Since Kendra’s accident on her father’s sailboat, he has been her strength and courage, helping her through the time when her mother was undergoing surgery after surgery and through her debilitating panic attacks. However, when she sees her father with a strange woman when he is supposed to be out of town, Kendra immediately pulls her camera up to collect the evidence. This fast-paced coming-of-age novel follows Kendra through her first experiences of having a boyfriend, drinking, and discovering that her perfect parents are far from perfect. This novel fits well into the library and into classroom discussions over narrative structure, as it does not follow a typical plot line. The suspenseful action will keep even reluctant readers turning the pages for more.
Diane Fanning, English Teacher, The Village School, Houston, Texas
2006 Winner of the Edgar Award for Best YA!
Careful planning and constant control is Claudine’s protection. Order is her weapon. She’s long buried her own needs and dreams to cover for her alcoholic mom. But when Mom suddenly disappears (another alcoholic binge?) seventeen-year-old Claudine finds herself all alone, and a much darker reality emerges from beneath years of angry denial and enabling behavior. And as the truth comes closer to the surface, Claudine must dig for the answers she’s always worked so hard to cover up.
“… an absorbing psychological study, first-time author MacCready’s spare style holds the reader’s interest as she peels away the defenses that Claudine has built up over her lifetime. The climactic scene packs a punch. Well-done and recommended for both reluctant and serious young readers.”
“MacCready spins a tantalizingly creepy web of Claudine’s disintegration, told through letters to her absent mother, dream sequences, and flashbacks. The shocking but wholly believable climax is a moving ending to this cautionary, empathetic story of codependency. “