Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Amanda Project by Amanda Valentino

Three chairs sat in front of the principal's office and as Callie walked in, she quickly filled the third one, joining classmates Hal and Nia. Three different people from three different worlds, yet one person brought them here, together: Amanda Valentino. After painting the principal's car with strange designs and symbols, Amanda, who was secretly friends with all three students, left a symbol on each of their lockers before disappearing. Always talking cryptically, she had a secret that each one of them knew a part of. Now that she's missing, the three students must put together all that she has ever told them in order to find her before something bad happens.

Unsure of where to begin, Callie, Hal and Nia decide to tell each other all of the information they know about Amanda. They soon realize that she told them each a different story about where she lives and where she comes from. With all of this jumbled information, they have no choice to investigate it all. At every place they stop, they find symbols spraypainted on the wall, indicating that Amanda was there. Now it's just a matter of putting together all the clues before it's too late!

A mysterious story of friendship and lies, Amanda Valentino and Melissa Kantor's novel "The Amanda Project" is hard to put down. Thrown into this world without context, it is up to you to put together everything and make sense of what Amanda's plan is. It feels as if you are a part of their world working on the mystery with them, rather than watching from the outside.

Valentino and Kantor understand the dynamics of high school and the ups and downs of being a student which makes it easy to sympathize with Callie, Hal and Nia. It's easy to relate to their struggles with teachers and school work, and their budding friendship as they search for Amanda is something that everybody experiences.

"The Amanda Project" kept me on the edge of my seat till the end. Although it is frustrating to get clues to Amanda's disappearance without being able to put them all together, that is what makes the book interesting. Valentino and Kantor do a great job of balancing mystery and relatability, and with the cliff-hanger ending, I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Champaign, Illinois USA