Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Sunday, June 20, 2010

author’s website: Margaret Peterson Haddix
release date: November 10, 2009
appeals to: Middle Grade or Young Adult
genre: Paranormal
length: 272 pages
overall rating: 3.5 Stars

*the inside flap*
I have to tell you my secret. I can’t go on . . . without revealing it. I had a pretty good run, hiding from everyone for five years. For five years I was safe. But now . . .

It was a talent that came out of nowhere. One day Lindsay Scott was on the top of the world, the star of a hit TV show. The next day her fame had turned into torture. Every time anyone said anything about her, she heard it. And everyone was talking about Lindsay: fans, friends, enemies, enemies who pretended to be friends . . .

Lindsay had what looked like a nervous breakdown and vanished from the public eye. But now she’s sixteen and back in the news: A tabloid newspaper claims that Lindsay is being held hostage by her father.

The truth? Lindsay has been hiding out in a small Illinois town, living in a house that somehow provides relief from the stream of voices in her head. But when two local teenagers try to “rescue” Lindsay by kidnapping her, Lindsay is forced to confront everything she’s hiding from. And that’s when she discovers there may be others who share her strange power. Lindsay is desperate to learn more, but what is she willing to risk to find the truth?

*my review*
This was an interesting story to read. The book starts with Lindsay being kidnapped almost immediately, which sounds terrible, but the twist is that the kidnappers think that they are actually “rescuing” her from an overprotective father. From there, Lindsay’s story really begins to unfold. When she was younger, she acted in a hit tv show for kids, but at the age of eleven, she started to hear things. Not just voices, but the voice of anyone, saying anything about her, anywhere in the world. Needless to say, she couldn’t remain in the public eye (or do anything even semi-productive) with all of those voices talking in her head, so her dad moved her to a small suburban town in Illinois, and into a house that somehow quiets the voices.

When Lindsay is kidnapped – and thus taken out of the safe house – she immediately starts hearing the voices again. Since five years have passed, the voices aren’t as overwhelming as they were before unless a rerun of the show is airing. But it is still a problem that she has to tackle and wants to solve.

I enjoyed the story and thought that there was enough action to make the plot move along pretty quickly. While there is a kidnapping in the story, it isn’t really a scary situation, so this book would even be ok for middle grade readers. There is a good conclusion in this story, but I think that the ending is open enough to provide for a sequel to be written as well.

*short and snappy*
writing: interesting – the book is told from Lindsay’s point of view, but because she can hear everything people say about her, you also get a glimpse into things that aren’t happening around her, which usually isn’t possible in a first person telling of a story
plot: steady with a few twists and turns
characters: realistic (except for the paranormal part obviously) – Lindsay struggles with things that any teenager could deal with, from algebra to making friends
judging by the cover: the cover is interesting, but it doesn’t give anything away about the story

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