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Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Clearing - Heather Davis (Young Adult)

Released April 2010

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

After ending things with her abusive boyfriend, Amy leaves Seattle and moves in with her elderly Aunt Mae in a quiet town in the North Cascade Mountains. Amy's hoping to leave boys behind and finish her high school years while healing from emotional toll the abuse took.

On Aunt Mae's property, Amy discovers a mist that never disappears. Curious, she enters the mist and finds herself in what seems like another world. The weather's always perfect and little ever changes. Teen Henry is fascinated by Amy and quickly finds himself falling in love. Amy brings life to his family, but at the same time, her very presence threatens to ruin them.

The Clearing seriously took my breath away. To me, it held that same magic that The Time Traveler's Wife had years ago when I read it, long before it became a blockbuster movie. In essence, I think The Clearing is even better. I had more sympathy towards the characters and loved the shift between Henry and Amy's narration.

Abuse plays a part in the storyline, and I think it's important for teens to understand, as Amy does, that abuse is never okay. I enjoy how Amy progressed the more time she spent with Henry and her new friends in Rockville.

As is true in time-travel stories, each characters' actions will affect other people's lives. The same is true in this story and while I've read other readers simply don't get that idea, it makes sense to me. If you change the past, the future must also change. Just remember that principle as you read this story.

This book is romantic, touching and evoked a few tears. Teen girls will love it and I think a few moms will be just as pleased by the storyline. It's been a while since I've had a book I couldn't wait for my daughter to also read, and this one definitely comes to the top of the list. It's one of the best books I've read this year.

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