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Reviewed by:
  • Hiding by Henry Turner
  • Karen Coats
Turner, HenryHiding. Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,
2018 [272p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-544-28477-7 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-544-28622-1 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10

The unnamed sixteen-year-old narrator is a self-proclaimed expert at hiding in plain sight, so he's surprised when a beautiful girl, Laura, notices him at a party. They start dating, but she hides him too, so he never sees the inside of her ostentatiously expensive house, clearly a step up from the middle-class home he shares with his depressed dad. When Laura breaks up with him, he sneaks into her house and realizes he never really saw the real, broken Laura and that she was as good at hiding as he. The direct address and questioning ruminations of this twenty-first century Holden Caulfield cover similar ground as those of his literary ancestor as he tries to figure out how relationships work and why they fail. He gives special emphasis to how differences in economic class enable and even enforce varied levels of display and hiding, and careful readers will note that his relationship with Laura seems to have foundered for the same reasons as his parents' marriage—an aspirational woman disappointed in a less-than-ambitious man. The teens' case is more complex, however, given that the aspirations come from Laura's parents rather than Laura herself, leaving both her and the narrator victims in their wake. Like Holden, the narrator is unreliable, but the twist at the end comes more as confirmation than surprise. Give this to thoughtful readers ready to ask some unsettling questions about their own social positions and relationships. KC



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