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Tighter
by Adele Griffin
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 12 & up
LEXILE READING LEVEL: 760L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2011
NO. PAGES: 224
GENRE{S}: Horror, Mystery/Thriller
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Female
AWARD{S}:
Kirkus Reviews - Best Young Adult or Starred Review
ISBN: 0375866450
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop


The Story
Tighter—Book Review

Seventeen-year-old Jamie has just arrived on the New England island of Little Bly for a summer au pair job that her mother arranged for her. She is shocked to find out not only that the previous au pair and her boyfriend met a tragic end the summer before, but that Jamie bears a striking physical resemblance to that girl. As Jamie begins to look for the truth about Jessie and Peter's deaths, she is also distressed to realize that she can see their ghosts. Why is her connection to them so strong? Are they trying to tell her something? As the secrets of the island wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the living and the dead.
The Scoop
Tighter—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Tighter is a taut and suspenseful modern retelling of the Henry James classic ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Those familiar with the novella will notice references and parallels right from the get-go, but knowledge of James' tale isn't necessary to enjoy this thriller. Jamie is a pill-popping teen who has been sent to Little Bly by her mother with the hope that she can get over her "mopey" feelings that seem to refer to a mysterious and perhaps humiliating relationship with a former teacher. Jamie's source of pills is her parent's medicine cabinet, and she has brought along an assortment of muscle relaxers, antihistamines, pain relievers, and sleeping pills, which she does combine with alcohol on one occasion. The subsequent haze into which she self-medicates contributes to the ever-increasing tension in the story as the reader has no way of knowing which of her ghostly visions might be drug-induced or real. The surprise twist ending will make the reader want to immediately go back and re-read for missed clues, and may inspire some to pick up The Turn of the Screw for the first time as well. There are messages and observations about social class distinction, drug use, and mental illness that teens will absorb as they navigate this smartly-crafted thriller. This book may be best for a more mature audience than the publisher's recommended age of twelve and up, as there are references to Jamie's two uncles who committed suicide years ago, her presumed relationship with her former teacher, and her drug addiction.
>View our expanded Super Scoop on Tighter
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