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Connecting the dots

imageProbably inspired by our seeing yesterday the wonderfully mysterious The Clouds of Sils Maria, I dreamed last night that we received for review a new YA novel that took the form of a high school yearbook. Apparently something very terrible had happened at that school, but the reader had to piece together clues in the text and pictures to find out just what had transpired and how the event had affected the teens whose portraits and profiles were in the book. (Wait, is this already a Jay Asher book?) I didn’t get far enough in the book to know if the tragedy was a shooting or zombies or the Apocalypse but it was bad.

Do go see that movie, especially if you wrote Kristen Stewart off for Twilight. She plays the personal assistant to an actress (Juliet Binoche, gorgeous and smart) contemplating a part as the antagonist in a play in which she debuted as the protagonist twenty years before. Lots of lightly served but chewable discussion about art and life and age and desire, plus gorgeous Alpine scenery. And while it’s essentially a serious movie, there are some hilarious moments, such as when Stewart tries earnestly to convince Binoche about the deeper meaning of a science fiction movie they see together and Binoche keeps cracking up in disbelief.

There’s a moment about two thirds of the way through where Something Big happens, in keeping with the story but out of nowhere and not referred to again. Chilling! I’m reviewing a YA novel this weekend that has something similar–the nature of a traumatizing incident that drives the whole story is never spelled out, and all we see are its ramifications. The Unspoken is not exactly a hallmark of fiction for young people, and it’s good to see some.


Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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