Title: The Zigzag Effect
Author: Lili Wilkinson
Recommended for: 7th-12th grade
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION WILKINSON, L.
Synopsis: Sage is delighted to land a holiday job at a theater. Mostly because it will earn her the money she needs for the photography course she’s coveted since she first picked up a camera. And working for a magician should be interesting, right? Plus there’s a cute stagehand named Herb, who could make it even more interesting.
There is a lot to like about the Zigzag Effect, including learning that zigzag is one word and it won’t find it if you search it as two words! 🙂 The synopsis emphasizes the romance aspect, and the romance was well done–it is romantic, but not steamy. They kiss, but they also get in fights and have misunderstandings and are real people with problems. However, the romance is only a part of this book, which is alternately creepy, funny, fascinating, and empowering. It takes place in Australia, which adds a level of interest to the tale, and Sage has recently moved, has no friends, and her parents are having money trouble. She has a cute little brother who loves magic, so he is fascinated when she starts doing clerical work for a magician over break. There is information about how magicians run their shows, there is a beautiful assistant who believes in the supernatural and that the theater is haunted, and there is a conniving magician out to ruin the show. While I do think that girls are the most likely readers of this book, I appreciated that it was not a romance, it was a story that included romance.