By Anne Heltzel
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763653330, 260pp.
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Who was Abby then? Who is Abby now? An unsettling psychological thriller, seen through a lost girl's eyes.
She knows only Sam, a mysterious teenage boy. He is her sole companion; her whole life. She was born, already a teenager, lying outside a burning building in soot-stained clothes, remembering nothing, not even her name. He showed her the necklace she had on, the one that named her: Abby. Sam brought her to live in his cavepalace, where he gives her everything she needs. He loves her. He protects her from the world outside, from everyone who wants to hurt them, like the denizens of Circle Nine, Dante's deepest circle of hell. But even in a charmed, brand-new life like Abby's, change will come. Sam falls ill. A new girl comes to stay, and Abby begins to question Sam's devotion. With doubt comes emotional turmoil, changes in perception, and glimpses of her past identity. In this courageous psychological thriller, Abby tells the story of living her new life and discovering her old one, while grappling with an ever-changing reality.
An ideal adult crossover book.
With explorations of addiction, homelessness, and abuse, this book touches on some of society’s weightiest issues. This is a title for teens who like their fiction serious and gritty.
—School Library Journal