Synopses & Reviews
Maggie was looking for a friend in Dahlia. She never guessed she'd find love, too.
All the tenth-grade girls hate Dahlia Wainwright. A smart, natural beauty and freaky outsider all in one. And that's exactly what Maggie Keller is drawn to, for she herself is an outsider, having withdrawn from the high school elite crowd after a car accident that killed her mother. An accident for which she blames herself. But Dahlia's friendship, a manic journey into new identities and outrageous behavior transforms Maggie in ways she could never have imagined. In her stunning first young adult novel, bestselling adult author Jennifer McMahon paints a lush portrait of the healing power of love.
"As McMahon's (Promise Not to Tell) uneven first YA novel begins, 10th-grader Maggie, the narrator, has ensconced herself in the dysfunctional family of her new best friend, Dahlia Wainwright, whose imbalanced mother uses dolls to 'predict the future, or maybe even control it.' While describing the Wainwrights' rituals in great and often burdensome detail, the author gradually reveals that the formerly popular Maggie has survived a car accident that killed her mother and has left her with scars, a limp and a terrible sense of guilt. Maggie admires Dahlia (who 'leaves traces of herself wherever she goes, the way a shooting star leaves a streak of light behind it'), and soon her feelings turn sexual. To this already freighted plot McMahon adds a story line about an improbably good band which the girls form with two classmates, both of whom seem cast much too conveniently. Although much of the story is far-fetched and ancillary characters are unconvincing, Maggie's feelings for Dahlia are believable, and lyrical descriptions buoy the prose. A satisfying end rewards readers who make it to the finish line. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Outsider Maggie Keller was looking for a friend in Dahlia Wainwright. But Dahlia's friendship — a manic journey into new identities and outrageous behavior — transforms Maggie in ways she could never have imagined.
About the Author
Jennifer McMahon lives in Barre, Vermont. Her first novel for adults, Promise Not to Tell, was published in 2007.