Monday, December 7, 2009

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

“I pop back into my body then, to share this thought with myself: The world doesn’t make any sense at all. People tell you it does, try and pretend it does. But I know now what kind of place this is, what kind of world we live in. And my breath catches in my throat, and my heart rips apart not just for me, not just for Nina, but for all of us.”

- Wherever Nina Lies

Each day sixteen-year old Ellie relives her nightmare. In her dreams her and Nina, her older sister, are laughing and sharing jokes, but in reality Nina is gone. She disappeared two years ago, leaving her younger sister Ellie, with many unanswered questions. How could she just leave like this? Sure their father had abandoned them and their mother is always working, but they still had each other.

Now it is just Ellie and her mother. Her mother does not speak of Nina; she assumes that Nina has runaway with someone to start a new life. Ellie feels all alone. Nina’s presence stills feels so close. Her scent resonates throughout the bedroom that her and Ellie once shared and there are even strands of her “graduation blue” hair in the shower. Ellie still holds out hope that one day Nina will climb through their bedroom window and reappear. She knows that her sister is alive, but has no idea about where she should begin to search for her.

Amanda is Ellie’s best friend. They spend every free second together partying and hooking up with boys. Amanda has become a replacement for Nina. She and Ellie share secrets and she even give into some of Ellie’s attempts to find her sister. After two years, enough is enough. Amanda wants Ellie to stop chasing after random clues and face the fact that her sister is never coming back. Ellie begins to believe it too, she has relinquished her search for almost a year when she finds another clue as to where her sister may be. One of Nina’s drawings mysteriously appears at a used goods store where Amanda works. Ellie and Amanda follow this clue to a wrecking party where Ellie meets the mysterious and handsome, Sean.

Sean is a gorgeous and mysterious seventeen-year old. He seems so perfect and polite. Ellie confides in him about Nina and her search to find her. Sean immediately tells Ellie that he will help her find her sister. She has finally found someone who believes that she may actually have a chance at finding her sister. This chance encounter takes Ellie on a romantic cross-country road adventure that she will never forget. Together she and Sean follow clue after clue, each time getting closer and closer to where Nina may have traveled.

What if Ellie never finds Nina? What is Nina is not the Nina that she knew? What if Nina is… dead? Ellie may find more than she bargained for as she sets out in search of her older sister, Nina. Will what she uncovers be more shocking than what she has expected to find?

Weingarten keeps you on the edge of your seat as you flip through the pages of this novel. Her vivid details of Ellie’s flashbacks of Nina pull the reader into the novel. Readers become captivated by the exquisitely detailed drawings, those pictured throughout the novel as Nina’s artwork. Ellie possesses an unwavering spirit and determination to her sister. This spirit evokes sympathy from readers causing them to empathize with her pain and suffering. There was never a dull moment and the story ends with a twist that readers may never see coming. This novel may not be suitable for all audience because there are minor references to drugs, suicide, and murder. It is recommend for those ages fifteen and older.


Heather Hoffman said...

This book sounds really interesting - especially in light of all of the recent events surrounding missing children (and some of their recoveries!). What classes would you recommend this book for? Would it be better in just and English class, or do you feel there would be a place for it in a health class?

Hutting said...

Sorry, but I jugded this book by its cover and it looked lame so I passed it up, but after reading your review it sound like a book to read. I have another book that has a similar storyline (disappeared sibling that clues start showing up)- but I haven't read it yet. It is called Missing by Catherine Macphail.

Lisa Burnham said...

I can understand how Nina would runaway to start a new life because she feels that everything around her is so FAKE. The sad thing is that the people who love Nina occupy their time unwisely. I would love to know the twist.