Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Clearing by Heather Davis

The Clearing I gulped down The Clearing by Heather Davis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - Graphia) in one sitting on an airplane. It helps, I suppose, that it's set in western Washington, an area I'm very familiar with; it helps, too, that a minor theme is getting away from a bad relationship, which is a nice change from all of the magical, destined, no-way-out romances that are popular...but a little creepy as a steady diet.

Amy has moved to the North Cascades to live with her Aunt Mae--and to get away from an abusive boyfriend. She's starting over in a small town that's nothing like Seattle, and battling preconceptions about city girls. Making friends when you're the newbie in town isn't easy, so when Amy goes exploring in the mist on Aunt Mae's property and meets Henry, who seems to want nothing from her, she finds herself spending a lot of time with the boy next door.

And I mean a lot of time: a quick visit with Henry, and she doesn't know where the time went...

Henry's concept of time is different, too; he's been living the same day over and over, a wish he made to prevent that tragedies related to his brother's military service. He mows the same patch of grass on the farm every day, while his mother and granddad go about the same routine--only once Amy shows up, they start to suspect that something's not right.

If Amy can help Henry find his future, what does that mean for Henry? For their romance? What happens when you're really out of time?

I read this book as a first-round judge for the Cybils Awards, which means that I may have received a review copy from the publisher (or not; I own a lot of the books in this category). I read some books nominated for the YA fantasy and science fiction category in 2010 before the nomination period, and may have already reviewed them or declined to make a public review; these books might not have a Cybils post tag. As a first-round judge, I was tasked with helping create a shortlist of books. My personal reviews do not reflect any actions or discussions of the judging committee.

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