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VOYAToward the end of this novel, a character asks, "Who in their right mind wouldn't want to be famous?" The answer is Grace "Ace" Kincaid, fourteen-year-old tennis phenom and magazine cover girl. Moments before beginning play in the U.S. Open, Grace phones her mother and utters three words: "I want out." Having anticipated this moment, her mother immediately implements plans to change Grace's name and appearance and whisk her to Alaska under the supervision of former FBI agent Ava Grady. In a tiny island community, Grace lives in Ava's primitive cabin and attends public school. She learns how easy it is to make mistakes (getting drunk at a party), how to ask for help (seeing a therapist), how to nurture friendships, and how it feels to fall in love (with Teague Denali, a sweet Eskimo boy). Ultimately the paparazzi find her, and she must leave Alaska. But not before her life "has gone from meaningless to meaningful." She will go back to tennis but not to modeling and endorsing products. This book explores celebrity worship and the price that a person pays for surrendering her life to agents and publicists. In Alaska, Grace begins to discover her identity and what she values. The writing style is conversational and highly readable with short sentences (sometimes one word) and paragraphs (sometimes one sentence), and boldfaced text that often indicates the passage of time ("THREE MINUTES LATER") or an event ("THE SECRET"), or evaluation ("PARADISE"). Touching, thoughtful, hip, and fast paced, this book will appeal to most teenagers. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined asgrades 10 to 12). 2005, Hyperion, 256p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Florence H. Munat