This intriguing modern day story draws inspiration from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time
When Miranda's mother unexpectedly fell pregnant during college, she put her studies on hold and took time out to care for her baby. Twelve years later mother and daughter are poor but happy together.
Miranda is a good girl, but like many her age her world is small and revolves mainly around herself. When strange notes appear which tell her about things that will happen in the future, she is intrigued. As she tries to solve the mystery she is gradually drawn out of herself, and for the first time she understands the needs of those around her.
This book is a little like Spinelli's Stargirl. It helps you to value living in the present moment, gradually removing the veil of selfishness that prevents you from seeing the world and the people around you.
It is a puzzle that gradually pieces together, only truly coming clear on the last page. It's brilliantly structured and crafted in clear prose, and when you reach the end you realise that every detail was important... so you read it all again.
I'd recommend this for relatively mature readers who can handle a mystery that may at times appear worse than it is, they can be assured that the resolution is as inspiring as it is surprising.
Rebecca Stead's story is enjoyable, enthralling and leaves you with something positive that you'd like to invest in your life.
Incidentally, if you'd like to know why I consider that Twilight needs alternatives, you can read my full Twilight review here.
And below is an interview with the author, Rebecca Stead, about her award winning book.
Clare Cannon lives in Sydney where she is the manager of Portico Books.
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