3/1/11 ** I heard Peck speak about this book back in October. Though I was intrigued with the premise, I feared that it would be too scary for my taste, with the potential for nightmares. When Peck was so gracious as to read Michael's novel AND offer a review, I knew that I'd have to go ahead and read this.
Peck got the idea for the book when he read a newspaper article about a teen who was killed in a car accident while talking on the phone. He wondered about the impact on the people left behind, particularly the person on the other end of the phone line. This book is narrated by the girl who'd been on the phone when three friends were killed in a car accident. After being a 'nobody' at high school, she'd lost the three people who gave her identity. After months of therapy, she suddenly receives a text message from one of the dead girls...
Though he's been writing for decades, still uses an electric typewriter (no computer), doesn't use email, and just recently got a cell phone himself, Peck perfectly captures the role of technology in most teens' lives. He also has an innate understanding of the social structure of high school life, the role of peer relations, and the lengths some will go to when thwarted.
A must read and not too scary, though there are supernatural elements.