This is an odd novel because it’s so squarely tied to the time of its writing, but it’s been kind of falsely updated in unconvincing ways. So for example, at one point a younger brother was probably reading a comic book, but this has been updated to have him play his 3DS. This is kind of silly in a way I will mention at the very end.
So Kirby, Brendan, and Nancy have each been given magical, but ever so slight, gifts. Kirby can dance, Brendan is a musician who doesn’t care about music, and Nancy has some slight telepahy/telekinesis/clairvoyance. They have recently moved to a small town in Florida.
So this is an odd novel because there’s basically no conflict. And for an YA novel that’s weird. Sure, there’s divorce and sure there’s magic, but all the problems are too easily created by the characters’ insecurities and then too easily solved by talking.
There are some good elements related to how a teenager’s sense of emotional well-being can create a false understanding of the world. And in one sense the character’s telepathic abilities give her a false read on the new man in her mom’s life, and it creates a good and severely underdeveloped sense of peril.
But there’s some issues tied to its false updating. One, it just doesn’t make sense since the ending is supposed to suggest that their mother’s new marriage produces a fourth daughter named Lois Duncan, who becomes a writer. Well Lois Duncan is 80 years old now so like probably her older brother never played a 3DS.
Also, the sister is obsessed with ballet. Which, sure is fine, but she’s “the wrong body type” which is a real issue, but because this is a falsely updated novel, they don’t just move her into modern dance, where that’s much much much less of an issue.
Anyway, I listened to this audiobook and realizing I had not listened to all of the Lois Duncan novels available on my Overdrive account. I had heard 3 last year, so now the circle is closed.