[Young Adult Fiction (Ages 12-17)]
Addie Webster vanished, the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Eight years later, her father, Mark Webster, is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then the unthinkable happens: the president's daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family's fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president's political circle who find her timely return suspicious. When a national security adviser approaches Addie's childhood best friend, Darrow Fergusson, who is the son of the president's chief of staff, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.
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Jan Gangsei has a degree in political science and is a former newspaper reporter covering both politics and the police beat. She lives in Washington, DC, with her family.From School Library Journal:
Gr 7 Up—It's been eight hellish years since little Addie, daughter of then governor Webster, disappeared without a trace, leaving a raw and gaping hole in the lives of her family and her best friend, Darrow. While her family grieved and eventually moved on with their lives, Darrow continues to blame himself for Addie's disappearance, obsessively following dead-end leads and alleged sightings. Suddenly, a 16-year-old girl shows up, claiming she's Addie Webster, but is this just a coincidence, or is she somehow tied to the national security threat that President Webster is grappling with? This thriller doesn't let up its unrelenting pace until the breathless conclusion, which hints at a sequel. Throughout, teens will see glimpses into Addie's haunted past via flashbacks and begin to figure out what's really happening with the troubled girl. Addie isn't the only character whose complex persona fuels the action. In his search to understand Addie, Darrow takes a number of risks that threaten his life; Addie's sister has a complicated history with Darrow and has just returned from a stint in rehab; and even Addie's parents are not who they seem. The writing is complex enough to satisfy more sophisticated YA readers yet fast-paced enough to keep the attention of reluctant readers. VERDICT Gangsei's killer political novel is a must-read for those who enjoy a tight plot in their psychological thrillers.—Leighanne Law, Scriber Lake High School, WA
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