Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
Pub. Date: February 1st, 2010 (First Published: February 1st, 2009)
Age Level: +15/YA
Nina was beautiful, artistic, wild . . . and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But one day, without any warning, Nina disappeared.
Two years later, Ellie can't stop thinking about her sister. Although everyone else has given up hope that Nina will return, Ellie just knows her sister is out there, somewhere. If only Ellie had a clue where to look.
And then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing tucked into the pages of a book. Determined to find her sister, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance -- her hot, adventurous new crush.
Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Mysteries. Lies. And something far more shocking -- the truth.
Wherever Nina Lies is the perfect intertwining of suspense, mystery and romance from debut YA author, Lynn Weingarten. It's a total page turner that sucked me into the story and held me captive, heart and mind alike, refusing to set me free even after I was done.
One thing I really admired about Ellie was her sheer determination to put it all on the line to find her sister. Some have said that they found it unbelievable and stupid that Ellie just hopped into a car to go on a road trip with some guy she barely knew. However, I feel differently. I think to myself, Ellie is a girl who has been longing to find her missing sister, Nina. Finally, she comes across a clue that she truly believes can lead her to Nina. Then Ellie meets a guy, Sean, who is the only one willing to help and shows what seems to be a genuine interest in helping find Nina, even uncovering another clue before they ever leave. I can't and wouldn't say that what Ellie did was unbelievable, a little reckless maybe, but at least she acknowledges that what she is doing isn't normal. Besides, who are we to judge, those of us who have never had a missing sibling. To be honest, if I thought I had found my only chance to find my missing sister, I may would have done the same thing Ellie did. Of course, I'd have been sure to bring along a can of mace just in case.
In all, I thought the characters were great. Nina was so intriguing and really spiced up the book even though she wasn't really there physically. Ellie was a character I really connected with and, despite what others may say, found to be very realistic in both emotions and actions. Sean really ended up surprising me though there was a point where I started to see it coming. Amanda, though I could at times see where she was coming from, annoyed me. Then there was Brad who was just straight up hilarious.
I thought the story line was great and wonderfully crafted. It was fast-paced, twisted, and utterly gripping. I felt everything was slowly being revealed at just the right times. Though the book only takes place over about a weeks time, it seems longer. Honestly, though, I do think the book could have done even better if it'd been longer.
One of the things I really loved and thought made this book stand out were the drawings throughout the novel. The writing itself was really good though not quite great. At times it seemed that Weingarten would repeat a previously stated fact not long after it was first mentioned. Other than that I don't really have any specific complainants about the writing.
The ending, which was a touch on the bittersweet side, left me satisfied and content. I think the end was very suited to this story though I do believe there are other endings that probably would have worked just as well.
All in all, I think Wherever Nina Lies is an unforgettable, captivating read that both teens and adults could enjoy. If nothing else, you should take the fact that I got a teensy bit defensive of the book as a sign it's great and should be read, as that is something I rarely do. lol. So...um...yeah. READ IT. Or else...or else you'll really be missing out. :P
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