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Reviewed by:
  • You Have Seven Messages
  • Deborah Stevenson
Lewis, Stewart. You Have Seven Messages. Delacorte, 2011. [304p]. Library ed. ISBN 978-0-385-90832-0 $20.99 Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-385-74028-9 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-375-89904-1 $17.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7–10.

It’s been nearly a year since Luna’s mother died, hit by a taxi in Manhattan, and fourteen-year-old Luna is still having a hard time adjusting to the loss. She’s particularly disturbed that her father seems to be withholding information about the accident, a belief that’s only strengthened when she finds her mother’s cell phone and begins to listen to the messages stored on it. Spurred by the enigmatic messages, Luna begins to explore the hidden currents of her mother’s life and her parents’ marriage, even as she herself negotiates a first romance with her neighbor, Oliver. Luna narrates her story in fluid, thoughtful prose, and her unfolding of her mother’s story is absorbing and, despite the more contemplative pace, genuinely suspenseful; her growing understanding of her parents as people rather than icons is delicately traced. Lewis complements this realism with a fair amount of glamorous unreality: Luna writes with adult sophistication, she’s the daughter of a famous [End Page 90] film-director father and a famous and angelically beautiful model/author mother, she herself proves to be a photographer of such prodigy that she immediately gets a gallery show, and she hangs with Orlando Bloom and jets off to Italy. The result is a bit like a lovely contemporary fairy tale, with a sad Upper West Side princess at the heart of it, and that’s a kind of folklore that many readers will enjoy.



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pp. 90-91
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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