Rowena Maven is shocked when her mother, Dr Marina Maven, accepts a lecturing job in Australia, stepping in for an injured colleague. With little time to accustom herself to the idea of a year of high school in New South Wales, Ro makes a light-hearted agreement with her best friend, Mahalia, (Hallie) that they will try to keep in touch by mind-messages. A big joke, but both know their moms are unlikely to allow long telephone chats halfway across the world.
The apartment Marina's agent has rented is run down and dingy. Within three days, Mom is on the telephone to the realtor, demanding a better place to stay. Rowena goes out on the balcony and tries to send a mind-message to Hallie. Her graphic visualization of the message's progress is so clear that she feels uneasy. Then someone greets her, by name, from above, and a boy drops (literally) into her life.
From that point on, Ro's life gets increasingly complicated. Patrick is intriguing, by turns remote and welcoming, but he seems to be able to take Ro to places many miles away in a matter of seconds. Who is Patrick? What is he? Ro doesn't know.
This report prepared by Sally Odgers
Smooch, Oct 2004, 5.99, 208 pp.
When Dr. Craig is hurt in a stateside car accident, his agent needs a viable substitute to provide the series of lectures in Australia. He chooses another client Dr. Mold to provide the talks. Dr. Mold takes her teenage daughter Rowena “Ro” Maven with her.
In Sydney, Ro finds herself totally bored until a strange teen Patrick Carroll falls from the sky. He begins to take her places that she can only dream of, a departure from the Roach Hotel that is Ro's reality. With a blink they are alone on secluded beaches and though he seems ephemeral, his kisses are realistic. With her best friend too far away in the states to help her, Ro has her first boyfriend, who no one else can see or even mention him to anyone. When she finally does he vanishes leaving Ro to learn who is the enigmatic Patrick and where did he go for she does not want to be without him?
This young teen romantic fantasy provides readers with an intriguing tale as the audience will wonder if Patrick is just a figment of a lonely girl's imagination and if not who and what is he.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner