Monday, 14 October 2013

What I've been reading :: 'Stranger With My Face' by Lois Duncan

While discussing the state of popular YA fiction, I was recommended this book by Emma C. Williams, author of 'World Enough and Time'. I pretty much straight away reserved a copy at my local library and after waiting several weeks for it to be ordered in, brought it home and started straight away. I read this in what probably amounts to a 24 hour period. I started it in the evening and finished it the following afternoon. I was just that hooked on it.

Laurie Stratton is just your everyday sixteen year old. Over the summer holidays she's gone from lonely geek girl to member of the popular group, dating the school's main jock. So of course, she can't wait for school to start again. But something strange is happening. Her boyfriend and her friends keep saying they've seen her in places she knows she hasn't been and she's sure someone has been in her bedroom and that someone has begun visiting her in her dreams. And then there's the ghost girl her little sister has seen looking in through the windows. What does it all mean?

This was a great novel, with a brilliant mystery plot running through it and just the right amount of supernatural elements. The one thing I did find a little bizarre at first was the fact that this novel, which was originally published in the 80s, suddenly had references to mobile phones, laptops and DVD players. And then I twigged that Lois Duncan's novels have all been re-released in a newly edited version up-dating them for the modern teen. It's a clever idea. I remember reading some of her books as a young teenager back in the 90s and the description of teenage life not seeming too alien but I can imagine that today's teenagers might feel differently. They're used to a world where they are surgically attached to their mobile phones and iPads. Getting Lois Duncan to up-date her novels is a brilliant marketing move and it works well. None of the additions seem out of place, it all flows seamlessly.

This was a quick, fun read and really took me back to the kind of books I used to read and love as a teenager. 


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