4.2 9
by Sarah Beth Durst

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Now in paperback, a mind-bending, haunting thriller that illustrates that who we are born does not dictate who we choose to become.

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Now in paperback, a mind-bending, haunting thriller that illustrates that who we are born does not dictate who we choose to become.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times bestselling author of the Daughter Laini Taylor

A twisted circus of a book, completely freaky and delicious at the same time. It's a thriller, a fairy tale nightmare, and a romance all in one, unlike anything else and impossible to predict. I could not stop reading!
VOYA - Lisa Martincik
Eve has been placed in a witness protection program with no memory of what she may have seen, nor any memories of her past. The company, WitSec, is desperate for her to remember, even though it means enduring strange visions and sessions of forgetfulness. Together with an honest coworker at the local library, she is finally able to find trust, love, and magic... but can she find a serial killer? A quirky fantasy, by turns sweet and dark, Conjured provides a rewarding experience that fades a bit with post-reading consideration. For a character with no past, Eve carries the story surprisingly well, and shifts in narrative from third- to first-person to track her acceptance of her own personhood. Hers is a journey of self-creation and definition, and her sweet and adventurous romance with Zach provides strength, even as it treads frustratingly close to a typical rescue scenario. In a story where little is unvarnished "good" or "bad," their relationship appears almost an aberration. This is easy to overlook while Durst's clear writing brings robust life to the creepy past and confusing present as Eve works through the puzzle of what her supposed protectors want and why she is so important. But after the pieces and fun plot twists have all come together, close scrutiny reveals some disappointing plot holes. Still, after meeting the interesting people and places of Conjured, it is hard to not hope for a return visit. Reviewer: Lisa Martincik
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Eve is a teenager with no memories of her past; even her appearance is new to her. She lives with Aunt Nicki, who is not really her aunt, and everyday Malcolm, who shows up to drive her around. Both of them are heavily armed. Eve has dream-like memories of a carnival tent, complete with a Magician and Storyteller, and traveling around with people and body parts tucked away in small boxes that sway as the cart moves from town to town. Only it is not a dream—Eve is a survivor of a serial killer who haunts her dreams and will never give up looking for her. It is practically impossible for Eve to live a normal life, but her protectors try to input normalcy by finding her a job at the local library where she shelves books alongside the ever-cheerful Zach. There is an instant chemistry between the two…a sort of magic that occurs when they kiss. Zach unlocks Eve’s memories, allowing her to remember more and more about who she is and finally where she came from. Eve is no ordinary girl and this is no ordinary world that she is struggling to survive in. One day the librarian unbuttons her collar, shows Eve the extra eyes embedded on her sternum, and tells her that “she’ll be watching” her. Aidan, Victoria, and Topher tell her that they are friends and that she is even dating Aidan, but Eve does not remember or trust them. Eve knows she is different but cannot put all the puzzle pieces together. This bizarre roller coaster of a tale keeps readers on their toes, because nothing is ever as it seems to be. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Suffering from severe memory loss, Eve is taken to a safe house and told she's in a witness protection program, but that fact and many others are called into question when she meets other "witnesses" who believe that the agents will eventually kill her. With no information about the crime she witnessed, the teen has no idea who to trust. She's also haunted by chilling visions that immediately follow when she uses her various powers to do things like making the birds on her wallpaper fly or walking through walls. Eventually, she is able to remember enough to go traveling through many magical worlds on a hunt for "the Magician," only to find out that she herself was created as a way for him to store power from young magical beings by the inference of their dying breaths. Only her nonmagical boyfriend's belief in her newfound humanity is able to convince Eve that she doesn't have to be defined by her past. This is an urban fantasy without a solid sense of time or place. It's contemporary in tone, but there are no distinct regional flairs or cultural references. Due to Eve's memory loss and the story being told entirely from her perspective, readers learn things in fits and starts with memories slowly taking shape and reality constantly being questioned. The narrative progresses slowly and can seem disjointed at times, but the action does pick up and leads to a satisfying, if slightly creepy, ending.—Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Someone is killing atypical teens, and Eve is a witness, a target or an accomplice--she just can't remember which. Eve doesn't know who she is or where she came from after waking up from surgery with a new name, a new face and an underdeveloped cover story provided by the agency that now supports her. She struggles to adjust to her strange new world, finding solace only in her work as a library page with Zach, who is cute, intelligent and as agenda-free as any typical teenage boy. Everyone else--agents "Aunt" Nicki Gallo and Malcolm Harrington and a clutch of other agency-protected teens--manipulates and misleads her. Eve's newly acquired magical abilities and resultant visions of a bizarre and brutal carnival prove vital to the agency's work but destructive to her short-term memory. She is an unreliable and constantly confused narrator, but her pursuit of the truth and her selfless love for Zach help to transform her from a puppet into a real girl. Durst excels at describing grotesque violence and gorgeous magical transformations alike, painting a touching portrait of first love against a backdrop of Twilight Zone–type terrors. Patient readers will respond to this slow thriller about a girl with memory loss and magical powers, and a murderer on the loose. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
Horn Book

An unusual blend of magical worlds, psychological thriller, and teen romance.

Eerie and provocative, this is a thinker of a thriller that will appeal to teens.

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Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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