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A high school misfit who desperately wants to fit in, notices a strange, sinister-looking man stalking the most popular girl in the school, and develops a relationship with him despite her resolution to use him to become a hero. 100,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

A high school misfit who desperately wants to fit in notices a strange, sinister-looking man stalking the most popular girl in the school, and develops a relationship with him despite her resolution to use him to become a hero. - (Baker & Taylor)

&;[A] perfectly orchestrated girl-who-cried-wolf thriller.&;&;The New York Times Book Review

A dark, utterly compulsive novel about what happens when the warped imagination of a teenage girl turns into reality&;

When fifteen-year-old Yasmin&;obese, obsessive and deemed a freak by her peers&;sees a sinister man watching Alice Taylor from the school fence, she becomes convinced he&;s planning to take her. After all, who wouldn&;t want the popular and perfect Alice?

Then Yasmin realizes if she can find out who he is before he acts, she&;ll be the only one who can tell the police, save Alice and become Alice&;s heroine. But as Yasmin discovers more about this man, her affections begin to shift. Perhaps she was wrong about him. Perhaps she doesn&;t need Alice after all&;

And then Alice vanishes. - (Harlequin)

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Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

The kids at school call Yasmin an obese freak, but she knows she shares an unsaid connection with cool-girl Alice. When Yasmin sees a man leering at Alice, she imagines him abducting her, giving Yasmin the perfect opportunity to save the girl she so admires! To thwart his plot, Yasmin befriends him, which, surprisingly, satisfies her craving for camaraderie. But when Alice actually does go missing, Yasmin is in a quandary: Should she report the man she suspects is responsible or protect the only friend she's ever had? Written in the second person and addressed to the man obsessed with Alice, Yasmin is an unreliable narrator in the most intriguing way. She lies and can't read social cues, and her yearning to belong and distorted sense of logic feel genuine. Despite Yasmin's delusions and stalkerish tendencies, readers will feel sympathy for how Yasmin believes that one person's approval will solve all her other problems. The dark subject matter, particularly Alice's life-or-death situation, looms on every page, yet Kavanagh's novel manages to be a quick, thoroughly enjoyable read. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

A teenage outcast imagines what would happen if one of her classmates was abducted only to deal with confusing consequences when fantasy becomes reality in Kavanagh's debut novel.Catching a glimpse of a man across from her school one afternoon, Yasmin—lonely and overweight—constructs an imaginative abduction scenario. She assumes that, if he were indeed a murderer/pedophile, he would have his eyes on Alice, the most beautiful and popular girl in Yasmin's class. Yasmin herself has a crush on Alice, and she's been keeping a box of souvenirs that represent times that their paths have inadvertently crossed—a lost sock, a piece of snack wrapper left behind, a heart sketched on a slip of paper. Over the next several weeks, as she navigates a hostile school environment as well as her mother's and stepfather's disappointment that she won't keep to her diet, Yasmin begins to follow the man in question and even makes contact with him, drawn by his kindness toward her in return. When Alice really does go missing one evening, Yasmin has to decide whether she should go to the police—or has she completely misconstrued the situation? It's hard to be in Yasmin's head sometimes; she is such a severely unhappy character that it makes for uncomfortable reading in the first-person. It's even hard to feel too much empathy for her, despite her history of loss, because she seems so bent on ignoring social cues as well as common sense. But Kavanagh does orchestrate some successful plot twists that are reminiscent of other psychological thrillers—classics by Ruth Rendell, for example, or more recent hits like Gone Girl. If you can stick with Yasmin until the end, the twists and turns are worth it. Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews

Short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award, this work features morbidly obese Yasmin Doner, a social outcast seeking acceptance by those within her school's inner circle, especially sparkling Alice. When Yasmin notices a suspicious character eyeing Alice, she determines to befriend him so that she can get credit as rescuer if Alice is snatched. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

[Page 59]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Reviews

Fifteen-year-old Yasmin is a major misfit: overweight, depressed, and shunned by her classmates. With her father dead and her mother remarried, Yasmin is uncomfortable in her own skin and feels like a visitor in her own home. One day she happens upon a man creepily watching popular girl Alice, the same classmate whom Yasmin has a crush on. She decides to befriend this stranger in the hopes of keeping him from harming Alice, with Yasmin becoming Alice's hero and friend as a result. But upon her initial meeting with awkward loner Samuel, Yasmin immediately recognizes a kindred spirit. This leads to her pursuing a friendship with him, to the point of forgetting her unspoken role as Alice's protector. Then Alice goes missing. While Kavanagh realistically portrays the misguided thoughts and actions of a troubled teen, her protagonist is an unreliable, selfish narrator who elicits no sympathy in the reader. VERDICT Touted as an adult thriller, this slow-moving debut definitely feels more YA. Despite its weaknesses, it is a surprisingly compulsory, if unpleasant, read. [See Prepub Alert, 7/18/16.]—Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Yasmin is an overweight 15-year-old with no friends, missing her dad who died five years ago, stuck living with her mom and her loser judgmental stepfather, Gary, in a nondescript U.K. suburb, and obsessed with Alice Taylor, one of the popular girls in her class who barely gives her the time of day. But from the get-go, the wildly clever Kavanagh, in her spectacular adult-novel debut, launches a new obsession for Yasmin: a strange man standing at the edge of the school property who appears to be as drawn to Alice as she is. Yasmin is certain he is going to kidnap Alice (she even Googles "how to spot a pedophile"), and that notion inspires a series of fantasies in which Yasmin heroically saves Alice and they become best friends forever. The canny Yasmin insinuates herself into the stalker's life so that she can identify him to the police if he goes through with the horrible deed. Things get complicated when he turns out to be the first person in her adolescent life who doesn't mock her or treat her with disdain, and they get even more complicated when Alice actually disappears, and Yasmin's stepfather is a suspect. The ensuing events and the stunning conclusion underscore the author's searing insight into teenage behavior and the desperation for connection. (Jan.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

School Library Journal Reviews

Published in Great Britain in 2015, this suspense novel will surprise readers. Yasmin, a depressed 15-year-old, is still recovering from her father's death years ago while obsessing over Alice, her school's "it" girl. Yasmin is bullied by classmates and teachers, but her mom and stepfather are more concerned with getting her to lose weight than with her mental health. When Yasmin notices a man who "only [has] eyes for Alice," she, too, becomes determined to stalk Alice in order to protect her and be seen as a hero. Yasmin is an unreliable first-person narrator who lives in a fantasy world; periodically, she addresses the stalker through second-person narration. Readers will find themselves thoroughly confused and questioning what's actually happening until they reach the last sentence. The anticipation and tension that mount as Alice disappears are exhausting—who kidnapped Alice? Is Yasmin involved, or is she a victim? VERDICT Like E. Lockhart's We Were Liars, this title will have its champions. Whether teens love it or hate it, it will nevertheless spark discussion and elicit strong feelings. Purchase where twisted reads are popular.—Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

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