Nicola Mansfield's Reviews > Claim to Fame

Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix
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Jun 17, 2010

really liked it
Read in June, 2010

Reason for Reading: I'm a fan of the author's.

Deep topics are under discussion in this book, first and foremost being transcendentalism. The main character does an awful lot of thinking and figuring things out in her head rather than impulsively acting upon her feelings as so many juvenile book character do. This leaves me somewhat concerned with the age group the book is marketed to. (The dust jacket says 10-14). I think that age group expects action rather than quotes from great transcendentalists such as Emerson. Personally, I recommend the book for Young Adults, 13+.

I enjoyed the book immensely. I haven't read too many books by Haddix, yet, but I've yet to find one I don't like. Lindsay Scott is a mysterious character at first as we find her. Then as she opens up and tells her story I found her to be a compelling character. The story is a slow one, with lots of thinking, reminiscing, and the turnings inside Lindsay's head. The action does not start until near the end, bringing the book to a satisfactory conclusion.

Lindsay is a former television sitcom star (sort of a "Full House" knock off) where she was the cute little kid. When she hit puberty, her powers also hit. Lindsay can hear anything, anyone, anywhere in the world says about her. Being a popular actress this brought on an avalanche of voices in her head and while she tried to cope she eventually had something akin to a nervous breakdown (to the outside world). The show was canceled and Lindsay became a recluse for the next five years, not leaving her house, living with her father who was abandoned by her mother upon her birth. We meet Lindsay at age 16, just as her father has died and she begins the journey into figuring out why she is the way she is. What starts this journey is a night on which two teenage fans "kidnap" Lindsay, having read in a tabloid that she was being kept under lock and key by an abusive father. This forces Lindsay to look at her life and she discovers she may not be the only one with her powers.

A very unique topic, with characters that are real and sincere. I found this an enjoyable read that dealt with a lot of issues teens will relate too such as death of a parent, peer pressure, what others think of us, wanting to hide away from the world and ultimately leaves with a positive message that when others think ill of us (are unkind, even bullying) there are likely to be issues in that person's life making them act out aggressively to others, letting one understand how to feel compassion for one's enemies. This was a quick, page-turner for me. Recommended.

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