The Hidden Truth

Young Adult

INSPIRATIONAL:  While out running one afternoon Clara is struck by lightning.  Although she is not injured, she begins to have odd dreams of a different world with a perfect environment.  These dreams cause Clara to look into the New Nature lab, and its experiments on DNA changing and genetically modifying food.  She enlists the help of her fellow Science Club members, including her boyfriend Brian.  Where Clara desires to find answers in a peaceful non-threatening way, Brian believes it is not enough and is determined to shut New Nature down.  As the dreams continue, Clara begins to question everything including how far she is willing to go to find the answers.

The concept of the story, with the idea of dreams influencing reality and a group of teenagers fighting for an issue that is important to them is interesting.  The elements of the novel begin to unravel, however, with too many points of view and a plot that is not fully fleshed out.  The relationship Clara has with Brian is abusive and the fact that she allows him to continue being in her life sends the wrong message to young readers.  Ms. Swart highlights how one is never too young to stand up for what he or she believes, however the criminal acts overshadow any good examples she offers.  In the end even if this story does not resonate with a reader, the lovely writing will bring them back for more.  

Amy Cefoldo