Hung Up by Kristen Tracy, Simon Pulse, 2014. ISBN: 9781442460775. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
We’ve all called the wrong number. Usually you apologize and hang up as soon as you realize your mistake, but what if? Lucy never meant to call James. She was trying to reach the deadbeat who accepted her money for a plaque she special ordered, but never received. After leaving several fairly irate messages, James picks up on the next one. This is where 99% of the time that would be the end of it, but this is that magical 100th call and it turns into an ongoing telephone relationship that segues from James identifying himself so Lucy might actually realize she got the person who inherited the deadbeat’s number, to a little bit of everything.
Lucy is extremely guarded for reasons that don’t come out until quite late in the book, but they’re very sad and very real reasons. Fortunately, James is pretty cool with her skittishness and has some quirks of his own. When their plan to go to his formal dance falls through and he fails to contact Lucy for several days, it could easily have been the deal breaker for their fragile, but evolving relationship. Instead, it helps her understand that he has family issues, that, while nowhere near as traumatic as hers, are still distressing to him. By the end of the book, readers will feel like they’ve been on an emotional roller coaster, wondering if these two are EVER going to meet face to face.
This is a smart, emotional read that will appeal to teens who have experienced loss or who are skittish about the dating scene. It has a touch of mystery mixed in with neat dialogue and romance. All in all, it’s another good book for libraries who care about offering decent reads to teens.