After a girl leaves her Maine island to start at a new school, strange events have her doubting her sanity . . .
Thirteen-year-old Christina lives on Burning Fog Isle, off the coast of Maine—a beautiful place with only three hundred year-round residents. This year, she'll have to leave the island's little white schoolhouse to start school on the mainland. That also means living away from home with fellow islanders—Anya, Benji, and the crush-worthy Michael—at the historic Schooner Inne, a bed and breakfast owned by the principal and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Shevvington.
But on the mainland, no one is quite the same as they were at home. Benji and Michael seem less friendly. Anya is acting so strangely it seems she's slowly losing her mind. And while Christina doesn't know what's going on, she can't shake the feeling that the Shevvingtons are somehow behind it. No one else sees their eerie behavior—not her teachers, not her parents, not even her fellow island kids—making Christina wonder if she's the one going crazy . . .
This creepy thriller by the bestselling author of The Face on the Milk Carton will have you on the edge of your seat.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Caroline B. Cooney including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author's personal collection.
About the Author
Caroline B. Cooney (b. 1947) is the author of nearly a hundred books, including the famed young adult thriller The Face on the Milk Carton, an international bestseller. Cooney's books have been translated into several languages, and have received multiple honors and awards, including an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults award and a nomination for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. She is best known for her popular teen horror thrillers and romance novels. Her fast-paced, plot-driven work often explores themes of good and evil, love and hatred, right and wrong, and moral ambiguity. Born in Geneva, New York, Cooney grew up in Connecticut, and often sets her novels in dramatic New England landscapes. She has three children and four grandchildren and currently lives in South Carolina.
Read an Excerpt
By Caroline B. Cooney
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 1989 Caroline B. Cooney
All rights reserved.
It was very hot the last week before school began: as though the wind from another world were crossing the island.
Christina packed her trunks, filling them with the heavy sweaters and thick socks she would need for a Maine winter.
Her mother kept handing her things like long underwear and pajamas with feet. Hand knit mittens with snowflakes and bathrobes with hoods. Christina would never wear such things in front of mainland children. She put them on the bottom layer of the trunk, planning never to touch them.
Burning Fog Isle had only three hundred year-round residents. Twenty-eight miles out to sea, it was Maine's most famous, most beautiful island. And it had only four children between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, so once they finished sixth grade, they were sent to the mainland for junior and senior high.
Christina knew the town on shore almost as well as the island; her father's truck and her mother's car were kept in garages by the dock; they went into town on Frankie's boat a couple of times a month; they saw movies and shopped, went to the dentist, and got sneakers on sale just like everybody else.
It was only school that Christina had not done like everybody else. Christina had never been in a school with classrooms, a cafeteria, hallways, bells that rang, art, music, gym, and hundreds of kids. Now she would be in junior high; instead of four friends, she would have dozens.
Christina had been told that going to the mainland would be an Advantage. "You will have Advantages there," people said.
Advantages sounded rather dull and sturdy, like winter socks.
Christina did not want any part of that. She wanted love, adventure, and wild, fierce emotions that would batter her, as storms battered the island. I am thirteen, Christina thought, I am ready. I want it all.
Christina finished packing. She and her mother lugged the trunk to the front hall and locked it. Christina put the key in her purse. She had never had a purse before. She had never needed one. Now she had her first key, her first handbag, her first allowance.
Christina hurtled over the pink-flecked granite that was the symbol of Burning Fog Isle—huge, diagonally thrusting cliffs sparkling with silver mica. She ran past strangled fir trees growing out of cracks and leaped over the pink rock roses that dusted the rims.
She found the other children gathered on the hill above the village. The heat had worn them down; they looked collapsed and sunburned.
Benjamin, who would be a sophomore, regarded school as a state-mandated prison between fishing seasons. He ached for his sixteenth birthday, when he could quit school. He would turn sixteen around Thanksgiving, and he planned to stop school right then, that afternoon, and go home on Frankie's boat. Benj was rightfully a lobsterman.
His brother Michael was going into ninth grade, and he had explained several times to Christina that ninth-graders never spoke to or associated with seventh-graders. She must not expect Michael to talk to her in school. If Christina tried to hold his hand, Michael would flatten her.
Michael was fourteen. Christina had adored him all her life, and Michael had not noticed it all his life.
Boys were always difficult.
But Anya? A beautiful, brilliant star of a student? Why was Anya not excited? It was going to be her senior year. Christina had always thought of senior year as a sort of heaven, glistening and full of rainbows.
But Anya was as tense and fidgety today as she had been all summer.
"It shouldn't be so hot," said Anya. "The ocean like glass? The morning sky free of fog? Everything is wrong."
The children squinted in the glare of sun off the smooth water.
"You nervous about school starting, Christina?" asked Benjamin. Benj was never nervous. He was fifteen and solid. He had had his own lobster boat for years. Benj got up at four every morning, started the outboard motor like his father and uncle and cousins, and went out to sea.
Christina had read many books and Benj did not fit into any of them. He was the only fifteen-year-old boy Christina knew, but he had nothing in common with fifteen-year-olds in books. Benj was more like parents in books, only stronger. Nothing frightened Benjamin Jaye.
"Seventh grade isn't so bad." Benj said.
Christina did not know why he was asking if she was nervous. It was so clearly Anya who was. Anya shook her head, as if the strange stillness of the Atlantic Ocean bothered her ears.
Christina had always wanted to be and look just like Anya. Anya was very fair, and unlike everybody else on the island, whether year-around, day tripper, or tourist, Anya never tanned. Like a princess in a fairy tale, Anya remained chalk white, with a frame of black hair so thick and heavy it seemed to weight her slender neck.
"We get to stay at the Schooner Inne," said Christina to the older girl. "Aren't you excited about that?"
Schooner Inne was a lovely sea captain's house, now a bed and breakfast, which usually closed down for the winter season. This year the Inne had new owners—the high school principal and his wife. They wanted to try staying open during winter and had agreed to take the four island children who had to board in town through the school year.
"It'll be luxury," Christina reminded Anya. She knew that Anya adored rich things.
Anya's parents were real Maine, and that meant they were poor. Anya hated being poor. She hated her tiny house, its shingles curled from the salt air, white trim peeling, enormous piles of lobster traps filling the little yard. Anya dreamed of cities: skyscrapers, escalators, high fashion, and taxis. She worked hard in school; striving, striving, striving to put Burning Fog Isle behind her and become somebody else.
Christina would be sharing a room at the sea captain's house with Anya. Christina was worried. What if she didn't please Anya? What if Anya grew angry with Christina for being younger, dumber, and duller? What if the town kids teased Anya for hanging around with a baby like Christina?
Mainland kids always teased island kids. Michael and Anya had given her instructions on how to handle the teasing. "Just laugh," they said. "No fists. It doesn't work. It gives the island a bad reputation."
Nobody was more "island" than Christina. Everybody who saw her called her "local color." She had had a thousand photographs taken of her, and been painted twice. "You are beautiful," the tourists and the artists would tell her, but they would ruin it by smiling slightly, as if it were a weird beauty or they were lying. She was as harsh and stern as the pink granite she stood on. This did not make Christina happy. She had never read anything in Seventeen about strength as beauty.
Christina was the only child she or the summer people had ever come across with tri-colored hair. Mostly dark brown, it was streaked with silver and gold. With every movement, Christina seemed to change color. She loved her hair and wore it just like Anya, but on Anya the mass of hair was magnificent, and on Christina it was a tangled thicket.
When Christina studied Seventeen magazine, analyzing models, makeovers, and teenage stars, she found no resemblance between herself and those girls—not hair, lips, eyes, cheekbones, posture—nothing.
If she did possess any beauty, Christina did not know what it consisted of.
The sea captain's house was beautiful. Symmetrical and graceful, high and white. Perhaps she would absorb some of that beauty just living there.
"The sea captain's wife," Anya said in a strange, glassy voice, "committed suicide."
"Oh, Anya," said Benj irritably. "That's just a legend, and anyway it was a hundred years ago and who cares?"
"It might have been weather like this when the sea captain's wife stepped off her roof," said Anya. She walked away from the other children to balance on a granite outcropping that rose from the Atlantic Ocean like drowned rocks. She stared at the mirror of the sea as if reading her fortune in its seaweed-laden palm.
The sunshine poured out of the sky like liquid. The Atlantic did not move. Even though the tide was coming in, there was no sound of surf. No waves crashing against the rocks. No booming where air was slapped into rock pockets. The water just lay there, as if a personality stronger than the ocean itself had flattened it.
Below them, in the small, sheltered harbor of Burning Fog Isle, tourists gathered on the dock for the return boat to the mainland. Their baggage and suitcases littered the wharf. They crowded into the tiny souvenir shack, buying proof that they had visited the most famous island off the coast of Maine.
Christina thought, in a few days my island life will shut down. No longer one of the little children in the white schoolhouse, but off-island at last! Maybe I'll even have a boyfriend like Anya.
Anya's boyfriend was a very preppy townie named Blake. Blake had come out to the island once during the summer, as a surprise for Anya. Blake was dressed in what the children called Catalog Maine—a fine rugby shirt with wide stripes, high quality boat shoes without socks, and loose trousers made of imported cotton.
Christina was sure that what depressed Anya was not the strange weather, not the beginning of school, not having to room with somebody four years younger, and not even the oddity of boarding with the principal.
It was Blake. Her boyfriend had seen her as she really was—poor, island Maine. And would he, during their senior year, with SATs, football season, college applications, prom, and graduation, still be interested in Anya Rothrock?
Frankie's boat nosed into the dock. The tourists jumped up and down with excitement. They got in the way, and their little children barely escaped falling into the water and getting crushed between boat and wharf. They abandoned the souvenir shack.
The souvenir shack was so dilapidated its roof had settled in a curve, and its door no longer closed. The shingles had fallen off the entire ocean side of the building. Winter weather would knock it down for good, and maybe the creature who ran it would never return.
The children called her a creature, rather than a woman.
She had skin like leather left out on the rocks—cracked and crusted. She wore fingernail polish as dark as dried blood, and several of her teeth were missing. She was the only person Christina had ever encountered who never went to the dentist.
The tourists clambered onto Frankie's boat. Frankie's dog, Rindge, snarled at all of them.
Frankie used to have a sweeter dog. Peg. How Christina had loved Peg! A soft Alaskan husky with eyes as blue as the sky. But Peg went overboard once to catch a hot dog a tourist tossed for her, and the sea was rough and Frankie couldn't get her back, even though she was a good swimmer. Frankie tried so hard to reach Peg, and Peg tried even harder to swim back to him, but they didn't make it. Peg drowned.
Christina shivered, remembering.
She shook the memory away. "You know what we could get at the souvenir shop?" she said. "Posters for our bedroom walls! Let's all buy a poster."
Christina loved to imagine her room at the Schooner Inne. Would she have a bed with a lacy canopy? Wallpaper with sprigged flowers? Would there be a little desk beneath the window, so when she tired of doing homework, she could look out across the sea? She knew what she would have on her bed: the quilt her mother had made her. Each square on the quilt had a lovely name: falling star, bear's paw, flying geese. Dark reds, soft pinks, and rich blues tumbled together to make a work of art.
"I want a flower poster," announced Christina, jumping from rock to rock, reaching the top of a long slanted wooden stair with splintered handrails. "Manet or Monet, or whoever he is, or both."
But Anya did not want any posters in their room. "Let's not go down there," she said. "I'm afraid of that souvenir woman. Her eyes are too blue."
Benj and Michael took the steps two at a time, passing the girls. The entire stair swayed drunkenly under their feet.
"I don't know where the souvenir woman spends the night," Christina told Anya.
"She doesn't sleep," said Anya.
The door of the souvenir shop was flung open, and banged hard against the wall. The souvenir woman stood in the doorway like a photograph of herself.
"Look at the hoods on those eyes," Anya whispered to Christina. "They aren't hinged for closing. Those eyes are following me, Christina. Lobster eyes on stalks. Don't they remind you of Peg? That woman took Peg's dead eyes out of the ocean and stuck them in her own head."
Christina felt sick, almost dizzy. "That's the most disgusting thing I ever heard, Anya," she said. "Don't talk like that." But the thought stayed with her: Peg, brown paws failing, slipping beneath the waves, only to have this creature seize her eyes. So that Peg swam on forever, without air, without sight.
The souvenir woman smiled, black holes where her teeth were missing, as if she had been shot. Slowly she pulled a poster out of the barrel. The woman moved toward the girls. Her layered skirts were long and thick, as leathery as her skin.
"If she touches me," said Anya, "I will turn to leather."
Christina swallowed. Already it seemed her throat had hardened, gotten thicker, turned leathery.
Anya stepped behind Christina, using her for a shield.
The souvenir woman rolled toward them, like a wave or a tire. The lobster eyes chose Anya. "I have a poster just for you." The poster in her claw-like hand was rolled picture side in, so it was only a plain white tube. "Come. Take it."
Christina shook her head. Anya laughed out of tune. "Don't let her touch me, Chrissie," whispered Anya.
Christina could think of nothing to say, either to the souvenir woman or to Anya. Would she be like this at school? Speechless and stupid in front of the sophisticated mainland kids?
"Yours," said the woman, with her dreadful smile.
"No, thank you," said Christina.
The woman laughed. Each eye focused separately; one eye for Anya, one eye for Christina. "No charge," said the woman to Anya. "I want you to have it."
Christina shook her head for both of them.
The woman jabbed Christina in the stomach with the poster, as if it were a lance or a sword. Behind her, Anya whimpered.
It's paper, Christina told herself, it's nothing but a piece of paper. I can just stuff it in the garbage as soon as I'm home.
She took the poster. In her hand it felt strangely damp, as if it were not made of paper at all, but of sea water.
"Come on, come on," Michael was saying, "don't take all day, Chrissie. Have you got the one you want?" He and Benj were each holding posters; they had somehow finished paying for them.
Christina stared down at the poster in her hand.
The souvenir woman smiled, blue eyes lying in her face like jellyfish dying on the rocks.
The children abandoned the village and went to Christina's house.
Burning Fog Isle had three kinds of houses: real ones, like Anya's or the boys'; summer houses, built by vacationers; and summer cottages, built by millionaires generations ago.
To Christina the word "cottage" meant "castle." The cottage in which Christina and her family lived had thirty-two rooms. It had been built in 1905 by a family from Boston and was owned now by a family from Dallas who came up three weeks a summer, if they came at all.
Christina's family lived there year-round in the wing over the kitchens and pantries.
Christina's father could do anything: electricity, plumbing, carpentry, roof repair, gardening. It never bothered him that the Romneys didn't have a house of their own. He just slowly circled the cottage, year by year, painting and caulking his way around.
"What's your poster of?" Michael said to Christina.
"It's not my poster. I don't know what it's of," said Christina.
"You don't know?" said Michael. "What do you mean? You didn't look at it before you bought it? Christina, you are so strange."
Christina could not bear for Michael, whom she worshiped, to think her strange. "We didn't pick it out," said Christina. "She forced it on us."
"Who?" Michael asked.
"The woman who owns the shack," said Anya. "She made us take it."
"She was stabbing me with that poster," agreed Christina.
Michael was disgusted. "Christina, when you get to the mainland, you better not be yarning all the time. People don't make friends with people who yarn."
Excerpted from Fog by Caroline B. Cooney. Copyright © 1989 Caroline B. Cooney. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
i just picked this book up because it looked appealing, and my friend with me that day said her sister loved the series. i could not put it down. this was one of the best books i have ever read. the 'professional' reviewer can say all the bad stuff he wants, but there is no author i would prefer over cooney and these books. its creepy, emotional, deep, and intense all spun into a paperback that will leave you on the edge of your bed, glued into your hands until its done. youll never regret getting this book. its the kind of book ive been looking for for the past three years. thw WORLD can trash this book for all i care because this book is amazing, even if the 'professional' reviewer doesn't see it. it's just what kids like us want to read!
Overly simple writing style, repetitive word usage, interesting plot concept ridiculously over dramatic behavior from teenage kids. Writer appears to have little respect for teens or their intelligence.
Name~Mildpaw. Age~5 moons. Pelt~silver. Eye color~brown. 3 traits~curious,loving, and brave. Gender~Female. Pet peeve~cats telling her not to look at something! Favorite food~mice. Clan~Thunderclan. *this character is from Shadow. Plz give me traits for my next character!*
May i joun. She purred.
This book I picked up from Netgalley because I remembered reading it when I was in high school. I was curious if it underwent any major changes to modernize it or if this beginning book of the trilogy was identical to the one I enjoyed so many years ago. I’d like to say that yes, this is the same exact book. And it brought me the same amount of thrills reading it now as it did in high school. I’m happy to say that the characters are as relevant and believable now as they were when the book was first released. This is a horror book perfect for MG readers and the lower end of YA, as it has a 14 year old protagonist. The main character, Christina, is also bullied throughout most of the novel, and because she never gives up, even when everyone is against her, I think she is a good role model and someone that kids can look up to. Now, I did get annoyed by Christina because of how self-centered she was, particularly in the beginning of the novel, and she treats Jonah like crap. I think that MG readers would be able to better believe the position of absolute power that Mr. and Mrs. Shevvington hold over the students. As an adult, it’s hard to suspend belief of the situation and believe that the entire town is bewitched by this couple. And, the dreaded instant love does pop up late in the novel. But besides that, this was a very enjoyable read. Even as a re-read for me (10 years later), I never grew tired of the story and I still was surprised by the many twists of the book. From what I remember, Fog was my least favorite book out of the trilogy. I can’t wait until they re-release Snow and Fire, so I can have this trilogy again in my collection. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)
Fog is very interesting.Every one even christina's parents think christina is crazy. But the shevingstons are trying to make anya not even a person, like fake, but she tryies to help anya, but gets worse. This book is a great book. I read it in 4 hours. You don't want to put the book down because it is so interesting. If you buy fog you won't regret it.
no one told her the fog could kill. Madness. Or Death. Christina leaves her home on Burning Fog Isle, off the Maine coast, to go to school on the mainland. She's not worried. She can handle the work. She can handle the kids who scorn 'poor, hick islanders'. But there's one thing she can't handle. The evil. Something very, very dangerous is going on in the home of the principal, Mr Shevvington, and his wife, where Christina boards with the beautiful, dreamy Anya. Anay is being driven mad before Christina's eyes. Now the fog is coming in. It is cutting them off, as if it had a life of its own, trapping Christina and Anya in the old house on the cliffs above the sea. Christina and Anya are alone with the Evil. And then, it's just Christina...
this book was amazing. i just picked it up because is looked appealing, but i was so immersed i couldnt put it down. it blew me away. id never be able to think up such a great ending! this book is one of cooneys best, and i truly think that she is an amazing writer. anyone can review it horribly, but i love this book to the death! it rox my sox!
i loved this book so much i read it 2 years ago wen i wuz 11 and i m almos 13 now and i still love it i gave this book 5 starz becuz it desurves 5 starz. i ordered this book and the other 2 that go with it yesterday becuz i alwayz wunt to read it but my library got rid of them and i m starving to read them again.
I have read a lot of books by Caroline B. Cooney and this series was undoubtably my favorite. It is suspenseful and creepy. Don't hesitate to read it!
I am not a big reader but i had these books recomended to me and i didnt put them down until i finished. This is a great series to read.
I love this series!!!!!!!! once youpick it up, you can't put itdown. it's suspensful and there are alot of exciting twists.
When you read this book you never want to put it down. Its many twists and turns keep you reading more and more. I love the discription in this book! Read this book it is GREAT!!
This book had really great description but I got lost in a lot of the parts in this book because it was really strange and bizzare.I like all of Cooney's other books but this one was a little too over the top for me.It was still a pretty good book, though.
I read this series when it first came out back in early '90s. I was absolutely blown away at that time. All three of these books are definite page turners!! But growing up, I put a lot of the books I read as a child behind me. Recently I picked up a similar series and began rereading them, which reminded me of these. Deciding to search them out, I came here, and wanted to add my 'two-cents worth' to anyone who may be doubting. These books are wonderfully entertaining, and the Author is spectacular. Definitely enjoyable, and obviously memorable.
This book was great. When I read it i didn't wan't to put it down I just wanted to keep going. (I usually take my time in reading) (Loosing Christina 1) 'FOG' Is about A 13 year old whose shiped from her island home to the mainland for her Jr. High/High School education, (Read the book and you'll get what I mean) Unawhear that the people she and her freinds are staying with intend to do harmful acts on them. Over all this book has dark and creepy atmosper and is thrilling. 10/10 'A' 5 stars!!!!!
This is a wonderful book, i feel sorry, for Christina, and Anya, stuck in that house, with those, two horrible people. I've also, bought, Losing Christina 3: Fire, but i've ordered, Losing Christina 2: Snow. But, i'm waiting, for it, to come, so i can, read, these books, in order.
It was pretty good. It was a little weird, but i got hooked. I just had to read the other books in the series after i read this book!
This book was very interesting...but very freaky! I have only read this one but am very excited about reading the next two. Some parts i had to go back and read a page or two agian to see whats going on. But still Cooney has done it agian she has written a FANTASTIC book.
Can i join?
I thought you were part of Rainbowclan. /)Rainbow(\