Lindsay Scott was a child star until a special talent to hear everything anyone said about her manifested when she was 11 and caused a nervous breakdown. Now, 5 years later, she is a virtual hermit in a “safe” house that somehow blocks her power and gives her peace. Until the day two fans kidnap her.
I was really intrigued by the concept of being able to hear what people say about you. I could imagine that being tough for a normal person, but for a celebrity? It would be a curse for sure. And Lindsay certainly has it hard – she is afraid to leave her safe house at all, but especially when reruns of her TV show are on because of the cacophony of voices inside her head, all talking about her.
But this novel was just weird. It’s a middle grade book, but it’s about a 16 year old girl and talks a lot about transcendentalism. It quotes Thoreau. There’s a kidnapping, a recently deceased father, a minor living alone, a mother in a mental hospital, a family secret, a plan to get rid of meddlesome busybodies, a convict slowly making his way towards “that sweet girl on the TV show,” and it’s too much – the narrative buckles under the weight of so many half-baked plot threads.
It’s not a terrible book. The writing flows well, and Lindsay’s voice is completely believable. There’s also the nice message hiding in there somewhere about learning not to care what others think about you because no matter how hard you try you’ll never please everyone. I just wish the story itself had been more coherent and concentrated on digging deeper into a couple of issues instead of introducing a bunch of subplots and wrapping them up in a big shiny bow at the end.
CLAIM TO FAME is out in hardcover now. Find out more about it at the author’s website.