Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

Wherever Nina LiesTwo years ago Ellie’s older sister Nina mysterious disappeared.  She left one night and just never came back.  Ellie has never given up hope of one day tracking down her long lost sibling.  Though she has tried to move on — working at Mon Coeur, a coffee shop, and partying with her bestfriend Amanda — she is still always on the lookout for clues.  In two years, Ellie has followed a lot of dead ends but she can’t help but continue to look.  Soon, Ellie finds another clue, a big one this time.  It is a drawing of Ellie sketched by Nina with a phone number on it in a random book sent to a second-hand store.  The drawing leads Ellie to a place where Nina may have hung out, to a party, to a cute boy who really seems to get why Nina just can’t forget, just can’t let go.  Nina embarks on the roadtrip of her life, with cute and unknown Sean, where the clues keep popping up.  Will Ellie find Nina?  Will she like what she finds at the end of her journey?

Reaction: I gobbled this one up.  Started it last night, slept, then read from the time I woke up until the time I had to go to work.  Done.  With varying chapter lengths and interspersed sketches, the story is told in the present and in memory flashbacks.  Ellie clings to the memories of her sister and regrets how they had grown apart right before Nina’s disappearance.  Her need to know — what happened, why Nina left — drives her in everything.  While on the surface she seems to be living a normal life, underneath there is always this constant searching for Nina.  Her instant connect to Sean through there bond of sibling loss made me truly believe in their roadtrip.  I thought the author did a great job of making it very believable that a 16 and 17 year old who barely know each other would just take off on a cross country road trip together.  My only regret is that I spoiled the ending for myself.  I have a compulsion where I need to read the last pages or chapters while I’m reading.  Normally this doesn’t ruin any big surprises, but for this book it did.  Once I knew, I easily picked up on all the clues strewn about the novel.  I don’t know if I would have noticed those otherwise.  My advice: DON’T DO WHAT I DID!  I found this book very satisfying.  I think it fills a gap in the teen lit genre, this great movie-like mystery thriller.

P.S. Hate the cover.  The girl on the front looks nothing like I would picture either girl.  The lettering makes it seem like there’s some sort of kidnap plot and randsom note, which there’s not.  The only thing about the cover remotely relevant is the map because of the roadtrip, though Sean’s well-traveled and seems to know his way around.

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About Casey

I am a librarian who loves all things reading, especially teen literature.
This entry was posted in Reviews, Reviews - Teen and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

  1. Sharry says:

    I don’t like it when they put actual people on front cover of books (like photos). Takes all the fun out of imagining how the person looks like, and sometimes it clashes with how you picture the characters. Even profiles are better because you don’t get the full face. I prefer if they either don’t have people at all or have sketches or paintings of them instead.

    • Casey says:

      I don’t like face pictures but for some reason I am ok with decapitated bodies…like on You are so Undead to Me. I know a lot of people don’t like those either but for some reason they work for me. But I completely agree that face pictures take all the fun out of imagining the character. It’s like when a book is made into a movie and the person they cast looks nothing like the character you imagined.

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