Never Let You Go

228p. S & S/Simon Pulse. 2012. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-4017-3; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-4018-0.
Gr 9 Up—When shy, introspective Megan lets her hair down at a high school party, things go too far and she ends up making out with her domineering best friend's boyfriend. A year later, Anna has forgiven Megan, inviting her to spend the summer with her at her uncle's farm. In somewhat heavy-handed foreshadowing, Anna is painted as highly unstable from the very start ("Anna's presence was like a firework-sizzling, bright, colorful"), teasing Megan far beyond the bounds of friendship, basking in any male attention that comes her way, and falling fast (very, very fast) for Jordan, another summer worker. It's no surprise that the sparks between Megan and Jordan send Anna into a jealous rage. As she becomes more and more unhinged, the book's tone shifts from realistic thriller to B-horror-movie farce. The predictable plot elements and psychologically underdeveloped characters may keep Never Let You Go from truly gripping readers.—Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

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