By Eireann Corrigan
Scholastic Press, $17.99 (304 pages) Ages 12 and up
Just what would you do to ensure that you stand out on your college applications? Probably join a few extra clubs, strive for honor roll and sharpen your volunteer efforts. Juniors Finn and Chloe do all this, but they soon realize that straight-As and extracurricular activities are not enough in a sea of overachievers. What they need is something attention grabbing, something that will make the Ivy Leagues admissions recognize their names on a national scale. What they decide to do is top secret, amoral and illegal: fake Chloe’s kidnapping.
The girls spent weeks working on every detail of their plan. Chloe will hide in Finn’s basement for 11 days after her horse returns home without his rider. Finn will play the part of the bereaved best friend before “finding” Chloe lost in the woods. Finn will become an instant hero, and Chloe will reach Elizabeth Smart fame. The one thing Finn didn’t count on was the body-wracking guilt that comes from watching their loved ones fall to pieces during those 11 days. As the days tick on, the girls’ meticulous plan quickly unravels, and Finn must scramble to make things right. This edgy thriller, told from Finn’s point of view, is a heart-thumping summer treat.
Kristin Kloberdanz, formerly of Time Magazine, is a writer and book reviewer.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times