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Black Mirror

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  746 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Frances Leventhal's brother Daniel has committed suicide at the exclusive Pettengill School. But there is more to his death than meets the eye...
Unknown Binding
Published by Not Avail (first published October 1st 2001)
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Sep 10, 2010 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life, favorites
I have to say this book was really could one character be so similar to me growing up? I'm half japanese, suffered ridicule as a teen for how I looked, my build was umm...very voluptuous, I wore big slouchy clothes to hide my body, I avoided the mirror, would sometimes have outbursts in school, and had and still have painful cycles...I too retreated into my art class and often the library...I was very much a loaner in my own right...I did have friends...but no one I would consider ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Mirrani rated it it was amazing
I had a very difficult time putting down Black Mirror, not necessarily because I was held at the edge of my seat with suspense, but because the characters were so real that I simply could not let them go. Reading this book I felt as if I was listening to a friend tell the story of some intense drama that happened to them in the past week and the emotion behind the characters pulled me even deeper into the story.

The main character, Francis, tells the events as they happen, in the first person. It
Oct 24, 2011 Lauren rated it did not like it
I would not recommend the book "Black Mirror" by Nancy Werlin to anyone. I would give the book "Black Mirror" a 1 out of 5 stars. Throughout the book, the author keeps it unexciting with no action or specific plot. The only information that explains what the book is supposed to be based on is the last ten pages. Nancy Werlin writes; "Bubbe, my father's mother, was of course a Leventhal only by marriage. Her statement felt to me like the curse of an evil fairy."(page 3) "I had a couple of morning ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Judy rated it it was amazing
Frances, the main character, is a scholarship student at Pettengill, a boarding school. The book begins with her brother's death, and how she is dealing with her grief. She attempts to join the club that her brother was passionately involved in at Pettengill - Unity, and starts to discover the sinister secrets behind this club.

I thought this was a suspenseful and enjoyable read. Much of the book is built on perceptions. There is Frances' perception of herself: " are not going to be a dain
Dec 23, 2016 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-ita
Frances doesn't seem to know her brother, Daniel, anymore. They have grown apart ... especially since Saskia Sweeney entered Daniel's life along with the charity organization they both work for, Unity Service. Frances has never wanted to be a part of this school activity even though Unity Service supplied her scholarship.. But when Daniel dies of a drug overdose and suspected suicide, she starts to feel guilty and ashamed. Why would her brother do this? As she gets more deeply involved with thes ...more
Nov 03, 2010 Yolanda rated it liked it
I just finished this book and was not all that impressed. The begining and some what of the middle dragged on for me. I feel as though, that the reason for this was to try to make the ending a little more interesting then it actually was. I did like the mysteriousness of this story, although i don't really like mystery at all. I would recommend this book if you like drugs, murdre and mystery, but if you like books that get to the point and don't drag on, I would look beyond t his one and keep lo ...more
Amanda Klitsch
Mar 15, 2017 Amanda Klitsch rated it really liked it
I remember reading this book in middle school and think back to it often. Just re-ordered for a new read as an adult!
Lisbeth Martin
Jan 10, 2017 Lisbeth Martin rated it liked it
I felt like I was in the surface mind of a simply lunatic teenage girl. It did not give me much positive feeling - like being inspired nor smiling about it. It did not make me not want to read further, though. I probably will not be re-reading this book, because while reading it, I felt isolated. That's what gave me. That isolation feeling.
Carmen Yeung
Jun 05, 2011 Carmen Yeung rated it liked it
Frances is an unique girl to me, because she would do anything for her own brother, Daniel. Even though she is really self centered, she still manage to try to join the unity because of Daniel. In the beginning, Daniel was known as being murdered. Frances would blame everyone about it, but she never knew that Daniel was killed beacuse of her. Daniel tried to protect Frances and was murdered by his own girlfriend Saskia. Daniel was finding out facts about Saskia about Patrick. Saskia had to find ...more
Sep 05, 2012 Sandy rated it liked it
Shelves: library, ya, mystery
Frances had issues with coping. She couldn’t cope with herself, with others and then when her brother dies she couldn’t cope that that either. Instead of hiding which was her normal coping mechanism she does the opposite and slowly starts to break out of her shell. Hard as that is, she learns a little about herself and the world around her. When her brother dies unexpectantly of a drug overdose she blames herself and later on she realizes she didn’t really know her brother as well as she thought ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Keely *Keelskilo*
Jun 18, 2013 Keely *Keelskilo* rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 22, 2013 Anjali rated it it was ok
Black Mirror narrates the story of a sixteen-year-old girl Frances Leventhal whose brother committed suicide. Somehow she feels responsible, feeling she shouldn't have been wrapped up in her own self-hate and misery and realised that her brother was hurting. This is the second of Nancy Werlin's novels I have read, the first being The Killer's Cousin which was enjoyable. This novel was edging on slightly too boring and quite disappointing compared to The Killer's cousin, the character of Frances, ...more
Redd Becker
Aug 26, 2016 Redd Becker rated it really liked it
As an Edgar Award winner Werlin has the skill to create characters who carry readers into the story. Then she uses the mystery as a vehicle for readers to learn about Frances’ world. A great combination.

In essence Black Mirror is a coming-of-age mystery. Frances’ brother kills himself and she is left to decipher why. In the process she uncovers secrets about a charity at her school and learns that even those she thought she knew best have secrets.

Written in first person we get inside of Frances’
Nov 28, 2009 Ryan rated it liked it
I like Werlin's characters and her stories. There is a coming-of-age-ness to this book. Frances was basically abandoned by both parents - her mother left to join a Buddhist monastery and her father is plainly depressed - and as the book opens, she is coping with the death of her brother. He was, she says, her best friend. Her only friend. She is different - not all Asian, not all Jewish, not all anything. Just in between and being in between is tough, lonely. But sometimes the alone is good. I l ...more
Kate Stark
May 02, 2015 Kate Stark rated it liked it
I got this from the library because I had liked The Killer's Cousin, and I liked this even more. The thriller plot is predictable but I didn't mind. The relationships among the characters were what I liked the most. My favorite part is the lesson the main character learns from her friend Andy, that if people are making you uncomfortable, or being mean to you, or insisting that you make a decision about something before you're ready, you can get up and leave. You don't have to sit there and liste ...more
Feb 03, 2011 Stacey rated it really liked it
This book was in deed suspenseful. Francis, a young teenage girl going through things that most teenagers do feel like she is never noticed. Who wouldn't when you live with a bad father and your mother left in order to find her inner self- not caring much for her children at all- but for herself and her hopeful future. Francis' brother Daniel commits suicide and Frances blames the guilt on herself. It isn't till long that she begins a journey to solve the mystery of her dead brother and what cou ...more
Jan 01, 2013 Melissa rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-again
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I swore that I wasn't going to read dark books for a while. I was only going to read funny books that made me laugh and were light and enjoyable. And then I realized that there was one book by Werlin that I hadn't read. How could that be, I wondered. So I began Black Mirror. It is dark. Or at least it begins with a tragic event. And as the novel unfolds the reader learns that everything they think (and Frances, the protagonist) thinks about Pettengill School, her classmates, and her brother are ...more
Nov 29, 2012 Cynthia rated it liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book because it had a good mystery to solve. It starts off as Frances being insecure about herself because all her life her grandmother told her that she was never gonna be as pretty and secure like her, from then on she promised herself that she was never gonna look in a mirror again. The only friend Frances had was her brother who unfortunately died from an overdose, but Frances thinks it very suspicious because her brother hand't done drugs for a very long time. ...more
Jul 25, 2009 Allysa rated it it was amazing
I adore this book!!!!!!
I was just casually strolling through the library, when i noticed this book. never heard of the i decided to try it, best decision ever.
When reading this book, be sure to look for some hints the author drops to foretell the ending. I feel this book is best recommended for those who have some previous knowledge about Buddhism, and a also some knowledge about the Jewish religion.
Taye G
Jan 06, 2016 Taye G rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 28, 2007 Kewpie rated it liked it
Frances and her brother attended an exclusive prep school on scholarship. While she didn’t fit in or feel comfortable, her brother had a large friendly group of friends connected to a charity organization. When he suddenly dies of a heroin overdose, Frances joins his organization to get to know his friends better. Instead of befriending them, she becomes suspicious that her brother might have been murdered – and the club was involved somehow in his the crime. Readalikes: Readalikes : Speak by La ...more
Sarah Dickson
Jun 05, 2013 Sarah Dickson rated it liked it
Black mirror was alright but not necessarily amazing. Although it only took a few hours to read those hours seemed to last quite some time since it was not very fast paced at all. The climax was also rather disappointing as I kept reading in the hopes that there would be a big dramatic mystery revealed but it fell quite short. I guess to sum up my experience, I read forty pages then put it down to finish my other books before forcing myself to finish. I'm very easily pleased so that, in and of i ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a good, fast moving mystery, you should check out Nancy Werlin's, "Black Mirror".
Frances feels alone in the world. Her brother recently passed away from a drug overdose-- he left a note so everyone thinks it was a suicide. Her mother ran away from the rest of the family and settled in a zen monastery in Japan; and her dad has checked out emotionally and no longer talks to her.
She goes back to her private school, continuing to grieve while starting to put together clues to
I had to read this for school recently. I hated it so much! Frances was all depressed about loosing her pothead brother Daniel, so she goes in his room and smokes Pot and cries about it. She is such a frickin' dope, and she was very unlikable to me. She also had a cliché romance with a drug dealer. The setting was unknown to me, but in a very cloudy, snowy, depressing area. I didn't learn any lesson or gather any entertainment from this book. If you are a bi-polar, whiney pot head, go ahead and ...more
Aug 02, 2011 Veazey rated it liked it
2.5 Rating.

This book was very mild. It wasn't bad, I did enjoy it, it just wasn't nearly as thrilling or exciting as I anticipated. I enjoyed the characterization and overall plot. I also liked how Werlin writes her character's interactions. It was just a little too dull. It wasn't dull enough for me to put it down, I'm glad I finished it, I was just expecting something a little bit more.

Normally I can drone on and on about a book, but this one...sadly, I just don't have that much to say about i
Jul 30, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
While it took a bit to get into the full story here, there wasn't any point in the book where I wanted to stop reading it. At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like it - it was one of those stories that starts after a huge event, and you don't fully understand until the end. I'm not too fond of those types of plot but this one I hugely enjoyed. It was totally not what I expected but I loved it. Towards the end especially it became very hard for me to put it down.
Hannah Douglas
Jan 21, 2015 Hannah Douglas rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot more than any other books I have read recently. It's probably because I could relate to the character in so many ways. I rarely find a book whose main character is half Japanese. The story itself was also very entertaining and made me think about how people go through life dealing with things such as death and low self-esteem. I would go back and read it again if I had the chance.
L. Petunia
Maybe a 2.5? I waffled between a 2 and a 3 for this one. I've loved all of Werlin's books I've read before this but this was my least favorite. I didn't connect with the main character at all--I didn't like most of the characters, other than Andy. I felt the mystery was a little odd... And it seemed strange that drug use was that rampant at a boarding school. Some things about the final reveal surprised me, though.
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Nancy Werlin writes young adult fiction: New York Times–bestselling fantasy, Edgar-award winning suspense, and National Book Award-honored realistic novels.

Nancy's newest book is the suspense thriller AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR.
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“Jews put black over mirrors during times os mourning so they wouldn't think about themselves. But I never did look in mirrors anyway, because I disliked myself. No, wait. I disliked my appearance.” 6 likes
“I walked out. I left. Andy Jankowski had taught me how.” 5 likes
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