Monday, March 31, 2014

Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda

This year's summer is stifling hot in Brooklyn, and fifteen-year-old best friends June and Val are bored out of their minds. As the girls grumble to each other about the monotony, Val is hit with an intriguing idea! They have a new pool raft! Why not take it out for a float in the bay to cool off a little and escape the steamy neighborhood of Red Hook? After a short conversation with Cree, a boy they know from a nearby housing project, the two girls plop themselves onto the hot pink float and cast off into oily waters with Cree enviously watching. Hours later, Val washes up on shore, barely alive and with no memory of what happened. June is nowhere to be found. Were the girls attacked? Is June still alive? If not, where is her body? Was Cree somehow involved?

In this haunting, beautifully constructed novel filled with edgy characters, Pochoda explores the dynamics of a culturally and racially mixed blue collar neighborhood in the midst of explosive transition. Treat yourself and take a stroll down Visitation Street! And, if you haven't already, check out The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold or Mystic River by Dennis Lehane, two more gut wrenching tales of young girls gone missing. 

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