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Lane, Barbara Ann
St. John's (Nfld.), Jesperson Press, 1992. 154pp, paper, $10.95, ISBN 0-921692-31-5. (Young Adult series). CIP

Grades 7 to 9/Ages 12 to 14

Reviewed by Anne Louise Mahoney

Volume 21 Number 2
1993 March

As Justice for Julie: A Story of the Supernatural begins, sixteen-year-old Jennifer Foster is lying in a coma. Her parents wait by her side for weeks, willing her to wake up. When she finally does, she says her name is Julie and doesn't recognize them. The next time she wakes up, she is herself again, and has no memory of Julie.

But Julie invades Jennifer's dreams, and Jennifer feels compelled to understand why. Julie's messages ("He murdered me!") are clues, which Jennifer and her friends take to a local medium for help in unraveling the mystery. Tension mounts steadily, then is resolved through a final confrontation between Jennifer, Julie and Julie's murderer. In the end, there is justice for Julie. As her story unfolds, the reader is drawn into (Julie's loveless and lonely world, and witnesses her being sexually abused by her "pillar of the church" foster father.

This is a gripping story of two teenage girls and their struggle for justice. Jennifer and Julie are both strong, sympathetic characters, multi-dimensional and believable, Jennifer's boyfriend, Zack, is likewise a realistic figure. A few characters, however especially the medium, the foster father, and the local librarian are just caricatures. The writing is a little uneven, but the plot is solid enough to carry the story.

All in all, this is a satisfying read for young adults, and will likely keep the interest of less motivated readers.

Anne Louise Mahoney is an editor in Ottawa, Ontario
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