Emily's surprise turns to horror as it becomes apparent that Mrs. Porter has decided that living without Lizzie isn't an option, and she's pulled her husband and remaining daughter into a plan to bring Lizzie back ...
PRETEND SHE'S HERE by Luanne Rice follows Emily through her efforts to keep her own family safe and herself sane as she's held captive to the Porter family's grief. The book requires the reader to suspend belief from time to time, but Rice has added plenty of tension to propel the story so I didn't linger much with my doubt. Having the story told in the first person was a decision that cuts through some of the suspense, but it's a positive in that allows Emily to be a more richly drawn character. Emily's supporting cast doesn't feel quite as real, but nothing about the situation in which Emily finds herself seems concrete, so maybe that's fitting.
PRETEND SHE'S HERE delves somewhat into addiction and its impact on families, and grief is a major theme throughout. It also has plenty more to keep YA readers flipping the pages: drama, friendships, romance, and action. I enjoyed reading the book. My thanks to YA Books Central and the publisher for a copy of it in exchange for my honest review.
A richly drawn primary character