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Adrienne Maria Vrettos grew up on a mountain in southern California, where she rode dirt bikes and made a mean double-mud pie. She moved to a picket-fenced apple town in Massachusetts for high school, where she found happiness and friends despite her lack of the apparently requisite pricey trousers and fancy car. She now lives with her wicked-talented writer/musician husband in Brooklyn, New York. Skin was published in 2006 to wide acclaim. Sight is her second book.
Dylan, the 16-year-old heroine of Vrettos's (Skin) tightly written suspense story, has visions; although she hides it from her lifelong friends, she can see child murder victims. Similar to the Patricia Arquette character on Medium, Dylan has worked with local police on specific cases, ever since she "saw" the location of a kindergarten classmate abducted and murdered 11 years ago by a killer who has been dubbed the Drifter. When evidence from a recent murder shows that the Drifter is back, Dylan revisits her visions night after night-and when a new girl, Cate, moves to their small mountain town, Dylan sees an opportunity to forge a more honest relationship and entrusts Cate with her secret. But Cate asks far too many questions to be of much comfort. A cast of well-developed characters surrounds Dylan, their presence balancing the paranormal element and introducing still more secrets and mysteries. Vrettos never allows the content to become overly graphic or frightening, and she slowly ratchets up the psychological tension. Readers will be riveted right through the chilling conclusion. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"* On Skin the Bookseller said 'An absorbing account and one to be recommended'; Books for Keeps said 'An unusually intelligent and perceptive book written in a confident and engaging style'; Kirkus Reviews said 'A marvellous debut featuring an unforgettable character'."
Gr 9 Up-In kindergarten, Dylan "saw" her classmate Clarence dead in the woods, a victim of the Drifter, a man who was never caught. Since then, her visions have helped to find the bodies of eight murdered children. The return of the Drifter, exactly 11 years later, brings with it a return of fear and paranoia. Cate, a newcomer to Dylan's high school, brings with her change and disruption of longstanding relationships. Setting in the book varies greatly, and as new locales are added, readers are continuously jarred from the story trying to place them in context. This is forgivable as the supernatural and the ordinary are skillfully blended; Dylan must learn to understand and use her power while dealing with normal teenage troubles and a town in chaos. Vrettos nails the feelings of mass hysteria and group solidarity that can stem from shared trauma. Readers will commiserate with newcomer Cate, who feels the intense emotions her classmates share and is fascinated by their bond, wanting a part in their camaraderie but knowing that she will always be on the outside. This is not as strong as Vrettos's Skin (S & S, 2006), but it's a good general purchase.-Cara von Wrangel Kinsey, New York Public Library Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.