Monday, August 8, 2011

You have Seven Messages

Grades 9-12

Luna’s mother has been gone a year now—killed suddenly when she stepped in front of a taxi. And while she and her brother Tile are still trying to understand their new life without their mother,  Luna comes across her mother’s cell phone and finds it contains seven unheard voice messages.  Luna listens to the messages one by one and while investigating the messages, she discovers secrets she never knew about her parents’ relationship, including a clandestine affair and impending divorce.    Her pain eases somewhat as her interest in photography, along with the gift of a camera from her father, sends her out into the city taking pictures and leads to her first gallery show. But with the growing understanding of the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death also comes a growing awareness of herself as an individual, not just the daughter of two famous people. She feels stirrings of a first love when she meets her neighbor Oliver, who helps with her investigation.  Oliver is dealing with issues of his own, from a domineering father to a former girlfriend who wants to disrupt Luna and Oliver’ new relationship.   A solo trip to Italy to visit her uncle and his companion give her the time and space she needs to resolve her feelings toward her father, Oliver and her new life without her mother, and Luna discovers sometimes the answers you want are not exactly the ones  you find but that’s okay.  Using the hook of the unheard phone messages ties the various story lines together nicely, and with mature plot situations, the story will appeal to older readers with its realistic portrayals of love in various relationships and the theme of learning one’s sense of self. 

submitted to SLJ Aug 8, 2011

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