Saturday, March 12, 2016

Linda Oatman High. That Selfie Girl. (Gravel Road series)

Linda Oatman High.  That Selfie Girl.  (Gravel Road series)  Saddleback  2015 191p  $10.95  ISBN 978-1-68021-060-6  ms/hs      High/Low    E-BN

Simply stated, the summary does not tell the reader just how good this book is.  Author Linda Oatman High tells a frightening story about a young girl who is vain.  She lets that vanity lead to her death.  When she is driving and veers to avoid a squirrel, she crashes the car and dies.  But her life on earth can’t be over, can it?  Macy knows of a plot to carry out a school shooting, and she must notify someone that her friend Ryan is going to hurt others, and then himself.  To emphasize the idea that constant posts are appearing on Twitter, Oatman High entitles each chapter with a hash tag, which is is simultaneously clever and disconcerting.  Some chapters are short, such as #DeadPeopleHaveFeelingsToo”, in which Macy reveals a secondary theme in just thirteen words presented in a shopping-list format.  Readers will be on edge as they follow Macy’s journey up to heaven, where she meets Samuel, her guide.  He helps her navigate her journey successfully, providing answers to her #AfterLifeFAQ’s (frequently asked questions), perhaps the most interesting interpretation of life in heaven ever, and #OneMoreQuestion, a chapter in which Macy tries to ascertain whether or not she can let people at her school know about the impending shooting.  As if this weren’t enough to entice young readers to continue, Macy meets a recently deceased young man, and the two hit it off immediately.  This extra love relationship is what lures reluctant readers to continue their journey through That Selfie Girl, adding a bit of spice to a book that already features multiple themes, many examples of figurative language, and wonderful characters.  The less-skilled reader will not even know he/she is reading a Hi/Lo book; readers of all abilities will find themselves engrossed in the content, format, and poetry of this book.   

Summary: When Macy Elaine Rain posts a selfie, her car veers out of control and she dies.  In prose/poetry format, she tells the story of life in heaven and how it impacts those remaining on earth.

Afterlife-Fiction, Vanity-Fiction                     --Martha Squaresky

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