Reviews for Wherever Nina Lies

Booklist Reviews 2009 February #2
Ellie s attempts to live a normal life since the disappearance of her beloved older sister, Nina, have been futile. Every time the 16-year-old manages to get it together, a new but ultimately worthless clue emerges, returning her to despair. Even her best friend, Amanda, is losing patience. So it is a relief that Sean enters Ellie s life just as she discovers a drawing done by Nina with a phone number embedded in the design. Sean proposes a road trip to find Nina, and Ellie jumps at the chance in spite of having met him only days before. Murder, mystery, and romance all wrap into a road trip.Weingarten offers a fully dimensional story that even includes an occasional psychedelic tip of the hat to Francesca Lia Block. Readers will be jerked around from one clue to the next dead end, each time getting closer to the eerie truth. While the denouement is a bit too lengthy, this will be exciting recreational reading for teen mystery and romance fans. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 January #1
In this gripping debut novel, a compulsive cross-country quest for her missing older sister leads 16-year-old Ellie to the terrifying truth. After her artistic sister Nina's inexplicable disappearance two years ago, Ellie still clings to the hope of finding her. When she stumbles on one of Nina's drawings with a phone number in a vintage shop, Ellie automatically assumes this is a sign. "Fate" connects her with the elusive and enabling Sean, and the impulsive couple pursue Nina's bread-crumb trail of clues from Chicago to a Nevada diner, a Denver tattoo parlor, an Arizona rock concert and eventually San Francisco. Ellie's colloquial first-person, present-tense narration, accented with flashbacks about Nina, reveals her naïve but dogged determination and her growing romantic attraction to the increasingly possessive Sean. As she moves closer to Sean and the truth, Ellie and readers simultaneously unravel the bizarre clues that culminate in a shocking finale. Sibling loyalty, quirky characters, misplaced trust and the very questionable kindness of a stranger guarantee a riveting read. (Mystery. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 December #3

Sixteen-year-old Ellie Wrigley is desperate to find her unconventional, beloved older sister, Nina, who disappeared two years ago, seemingly without a trace. When Ellie uncovers a clue in a local secondhand shop--a drawing that Ellie recognizes as Nina's work--she is determined to investigate, even without her family's support. Ellie's father left years earlier, and her mother is remarkably uninvolved: "Your sister's not missing," Ellie's mother has told her. "She's just not here." Without telling anyone where she is going, Ellie sets off on a cross-country chase with her new crush, Sean, who has also lost a sibling, and seems to be the only one who understands her. The cast of convenient characters also includes Ellie's gay boss at the coffee bar and her suspicious best friend. The story is largely unbelievable, however, debut author Weingarten's fast-paced, chatty style will keep readers tuned in. Ages 14-up. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 August

Gr 8 Up--Ellie's beloved, artistic, and wild older sister disappeared two years ago. By chance, Ellie finds one of Nina's drawings in a donation box at a thrift store, and with the help of her friend Amanda, who works there, she tracks down the guy who donated the box, leading her on a chase all over the country to find her missing sister. At a party in town, she meets Sean, a guy from a local prep school who thinks fate brought them together. His brother died a few years ago, and he'd do anything to get him back, so he relates to Ellie, and the next thing they know they're driving from their suburb in Illinois to Nebraska, Colorado, and California, following clues. An unbelievable plot--Ellie's mom doesn't care that her daughter is missing for days, Amanda lets her friend run off with a complete stranger, and Nina has made no effort to contact her family despite the ability to do so with the help of police and the Internet--combined with sloppy writing--makes this one hard to recommend, despite the intriguing premise. The story takes an abrupt turn toward a Lifetime movie when Ellie figures out that Sean murdered his brother, who was, in fact, Nina's boyfriend, and that he plans to murder both her and Nina. This road-trip novel pales in comparison to John Green's Paper Towns (Dutton, 2008).--Jennifer Barnes, Homewood Library, IL

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