By Lisa Mangum
Shadow Mountain, May 2009
Review by Heather Moore
Abby has always had a plan, and everything is running smoothly her senior year. She and her friends have applied to the state college together, her boyfriend takes her out every weekend like clock-work, and she even agrees to go bowling for her birthday—again—though she’s been doing it since she was four years old. Each day is predictable and Abby thinks that’s what she wants. Normal.
Until Dante, an exchange student from Italy, arrives at her school. Things start to change and Abby realizes it’s because of Dante. She’s ready to take risks, ready to dream, and she realizes that things aren’t what they seem—especially Dante. He keeps a fascinating, yet deadly secret, and in order for Abby to survive, she’ll have to trust her heart, and Dante.
From the first page, I was absorbed by this story. Abby is a witty character who hates her full name—Abigail Beatrice—until she discovers the role it might play. As she works at the assistant director on the play Much Ado About Nothing, then meets new student Dante, she begins to understand that classical literature transcends the parameters of time. Dante comes into the story as a mysterious character who seems only to pay attention to Abby—much to the dismay of the other girls in the school. But he has more reason than just a case of attraction—his dark secret will change Abby’s perception of life forever. A fascinating and highly creative story developed on connections between literature and time travel, I was impressed with Mangum’s debut novel. Just enough suspense, just enough intrigue, and of course romance, roll into one engaging read.