Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan (NY: Scholastic, 2010).
Corrigan rocks the suspense in completely unexpected ways in this novel about best friends Chloe and Finn who decide to stage Chloe's disappearance so they can have unique college entrance essays. That may sound a bit lame, but it's really not. The girls believe they've thought through every possible issue that might arise, but they don't count on how much the situations hurts other people. Finn, as the one left behind to do all the lying, feels particularly horrible because she has to keep up the pretense and watch people's pain--her parents, Chloe's parents, Chloe's autistic brother, and Stuttering Dean, a boy the girls befriended. The outcome is as surprising as the progression of the story itself. The girls knew nothing would ever be the same for them again, but, for Finn at least, it's different in a difficult way, as she remain trapped in the lie.
Great realistic fiction for ages 12 & up.
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