Looking Glass
by McNally, Janet

A copy of Grimms' Fairy Tales sends Sylvie, a sixteen-year-old ballerina-in-training, in search of her runaway older sister amid strange happenings, such as a woman leaving a shoe behind while running.

*Starred Review* As far back as Sylvie can remember, her older sister, Julia, was the star, drawing attention at their prestigious ballet academy and in life. But then came Julia's accident, her painkiller addiction, and then, finally, her disappearance, leaving Sylvie to carry on-in ballet and in life-alone. When a long-lost copy of a book of fairy tales shows up in the mail with enigmatic doodles on its end pages, Sylvie knows it's from Julia, but it's a cryptic map at best. Then Sylvie starts crossing paths with people too similar to fairy tale characters to be coincidental. Convinced she's losing her mind, Sylvie reluctantly enlists the help of her best friend's brother, who comes equipped with an ancient Volvo and a Fleetwood Mac playlist, and blows off ballet camp for a road trip across the Eastern Seaboard to find her sister. If Julia truly wants to be found, however, remains to be seen, and even if she is found, whether or not she can be saved may not be up to Sylvie. In her sophomore offering, McNally (Girls in the Moon, 2016) puts not a single note out of place. Similar in concept, though softer in tone, to Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood (2018), this is a precise, musical novel that's extraordinarily effective in format. A bittersweet modern fairy tale, tinged with magical realism, that will touch hearts. Grades 7-10. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

When a mysterious package offers aspiring ballerina Sylvie a clue regarding her missing older sister's whereabouts, she leaps at the chance to find Julia and bring her home. It's been one year since 16-year-old Sylvie's sister Julia left New York; one year spent trying to fill her shoes at the National Ballet Theatre Academy while everyone pretends Julia didn't overdose on painkillers after a career-ending injury. The only sibling still living at home—artist brother Everett lives in Nashville—Sylvie navigates lingering feelings of betrayal, grief, and guilt alone until she discovers a cryptic list of names in her childhood book of fairy tales. Believing this is Julia's call for help, she embarks on a road trip with her best friend's inscrutable older brother, Jack, down the East Coast to find the people on the list and, hopefully, Julia herself. Against a soundtrack of Fleetwood Mac, Sylvie and Jack grow closer, exploring class differences, familial anxieties, and their own distinct identities in the process, but the real love story is between Sylvie and her siblings. McNally's (Girls in the Moon, 2016, etc.) vivid imagery and exquisite, poetic language—with an ever so slightly sinister undercurrent—weave shimmering, slow-building tension throughout. Most major characters appear straight and white, but some secondary characters are people of color and gay men. This ode to sisterhood and strength leads up to an unexpected and thoroughly satisfying conclusion. (resources) (Fiction. 13-18) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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