Anooshka Stargirl sometimes sees her life as a movie. But she can't escape the realities. At home there's a depressed mother who often won't emerge from bed. And a dad who's not in the picture. There are two best friends but a stifling pack of aspiring glamour girls. Fortunately there's Zoetrope Zallulah Moon, modish older sister extraordinaire, living a bus ride away in New York City.
Visiting Moon one summer weekend when the heat won't relent, Anooshka hears rock singer Orpheus's music. She's immediately entranced by his sound. His lyrics seem to echo her mood and light a spark in her core. After meeting the shy, approachable Orpheus by chance, Anooshka can't shake him from her head. And his Internet diaries keep signaling that they share a magnetic synchronicity. Soon Orpheus expresses an interest in her, and like the Greek mythological heroine Eurydice, Anooshka descends deep into a mesmerizing underworld until she reaches a place where fantasies topple and the unspoken finally makes itself heard.
Dakota Lane's tantalizing, allegorical tale follows a teen's obsession as it transforms into empowering self-discovery.
As in Lane's debut, Johnny Voodoo, a 16-year-old with a volatile parent once again falls for a charismatic Mr. Wrong. Readers will be drawn in by the brash, hip heroine, as well as by Lane's depiction of the rarefied Bohemias of downtown Manhattan and Woodstock, N.Y., as enticingly portrayed as the bayou was in her first novel. Shortly after Anooshka's 16th birthday, she and her older sister, ZZ Moon, spend the day at Brighton Beach, where they have a chance encounter with up-and-coming musician Orpheus. Anooshka becomes fascinated with Orpheus, pondering his lyrics and reading his online diary. Anooshka believes that she and Orpheus have a mysterious connection, and when she visits his nightspot, Constellation, he gives her backstage passes to his next gig. After one giddily gorgeous encounter, Orpheus leaves on tour-and steps out of Anooshka's life. A period of despair ensues, ending only when-in an instance of overly tidy plotting that seems out of place in this lush and looping tale-Anooshka sees the parallels between the behavior of her lover and her absent father. Each chapter begins with a fragment of an Orpheus lyric, authentically annotated ("Japan import," "U.K. version," etc.), and black-and-white photographs apparently taken by Anooshka are sprinkled throughout. Drawn in by these hip accoutrements, teens will likely stay to enjoy Anooshka's tale, one that is instantly recognizable to just about anyone who has ever experienced the highs and lows of an obsessive crush. Ages 14-up. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.