Cover image for Can't look away
Title:
Can't look away
Author:
Cooner, Donna D. (Donna Danell), author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Point, 2014.
Physical Description:
264 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Torrey Grey's YouTube videos on fashion and beauty for teenagers were famous, but when her younger sister is killed by a drunk driver during a filming her world falls apart--cyber bullies are attacking her, her father moves them to Texas, and she does not know who to trust at her new school or whether her cousin is really a friend.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
670 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.6 9.0 169593.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.2 16 Quiz: 63548.
ISBN:
9780545427654
Format :
Book

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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Donna Cooner establishes herself as our own Jodi Picoult in this timely tale of sisters, loss, and redemption.

Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident - maybe because of Torrey and her videos - Torrey's perfect world implodes. Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn't know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey's internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there's Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?


Author Notes

DONNA COONER is the acclaimed author of Skinny , which was nominated for YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults and was a 2012 BEA Buzz book. Donna lives with her goat dog, Roxanne, in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she also works as a professor of education. You can visit her online at www.donnacooner.com .


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a story about loss, sensationalism, and the double-edged sword of fame, pretty, popular Torrey has "cultivated a loyal following" by posting beauty tips and "haul videos" (showing off recent purchases) online as Beautystarz15. After a drunk driver kills her younger sister, Torrey's views surge into the millions, even though she hasn't uploaded a video since the tragedy. Moving with her parents from Colorado to Texas, Torrey tries to retain her social status but is plagued by nightmares and insensitive online comments, especially after a video leaks, showing her fighting with her sister the day of the accident. When Torrey meets handsome Luis, the outcast son of a funeral home owner, they form a close and candid bond that will never fly with the popular girls at her new school. She also must decide how to handle her return to being Beautystarz15 and grapple with her grief both personally and publically. While Cooner (Skinny) builds Torrey's emotional life skillfully and tackles complex moral questions, the ideas she introduces are not explored in enough depth to make Torrey's transformation entirely believable. Ages 12-up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Torrey Grey (Beautystarz15) is a YouTube teen sensation. Her videos on fashion and shopping "hauls" have earned her articles in Teen Vogue and a league of online worshippers. Younger sister Miranda could not care less about beauty or fashion; her main interests lie with comics and superheros. While accompanying Torrey and a friend on a video shoot, Miranda is killed by a drunk driver while standing in the middle of a crosswalk. Sympathy for Torrey is quickly changed to blame when a video of an argument between Torrey and Miranda, recorded shortly before the accident, is posted. Moving from Denver to a small Texas town is culture shock for the main character; the fear of being discovered by the fashion-conscious popular crowd complicates friendship issues, as does being friendly with the ex-boyfriend of the most popular girl in school. Newspaper articles about the accident and aftermath and tips from Torrey on fashion introduce chapters. Thoughtful messages about regret and the price of fame are poignant without being heavy-handed. Day of the Dead customs are significant aspects of the story, which makes for a unique multicultural twist. The portrayal of the impact of a child's death on a family is authentic. The protagonist's pain and remorse are raw and deeply defined. She may not be immediately likable by some readers, but her journey through grief and her "new normal" will draw empathy. Although Torrey's story is atypical, common themes of fitting in, boy-girl relationships, and sisterhood are universal.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.