Wanted! by Caroline B. Cooney
Released: July 1st 1997
In a tense voice, Alice’s very rational father suggests that she drive his precious Corvette and meet him. But Alice doesn’t have a driver’s license. “It doesn’t matter!” he yells. Yet he never shows up. Something is very wrong.
Then Alice hears an announcement over the radio. Her father is dead. And someone has already confessed to his murder via E-mail.
That someone is Alice.
Everyone, including her mother, believes that Alice is guilty. The police are after her. And the real murderer is, too.
It’s only a matter of time before somebody catches her…
I feel like this book had a lot of potential for being a memorable fast paced thriller. The plot itself makes you want to pick it up and find out what happens next. However, after reading it, I felt like that I had wasted my time reading this lackluster thriller.
Firstly, I felt the pacing of the story was a bit haphazard and the storyline had a lot of unwanted information that was not needed. For instance, when Alice meets Paul, do we really need half a page of how she knew another Paul from school who was joining MIT? Or when she looks at the high tower offices and wonders how glass structure stays that way and if her dad worked in one of those buildings? Or how about describing how neat Ginger’s room is and spend another two pages of how it reminded her of her dad? I felt like for every action Alice was taking, we got an additional few pages description of how it reminded her of her father. I understand that Cooney probably did this to show that the character was mourning for her father and was in a confused state of mind, but it got monotonous to read it repeatedly.
Secondly, the ending was very disappointing. Considering that I spent around 220 pages reading about how Alice is a fugitive and doesn’t know how to stop the nightmare she’s in, I would have expected the climax to be a little more interesting and drawn out when Alice finally confronts the killer, but things just happened with a blink of an eye, and I just sat rolling my eyes thinking how everything just unbelievably wrapped up neatly in place in the last three pages.
Despite all this, I am giving this book 2.5 stars as the book did hold my interest in the second half where I kept wondering what Alice would do next and how the story would end. I feel like in these kind of thrillers, you really need to love the main character and root for them, but at times I really couldn’t care of what happened to Alice as I found her to be stupid and careless, but I can understand that’s probably how any teenager would have behaved in that situation.
Overall, “Wanted” is a quick read but not a very memorable one.