________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 16 . . . .April 14, 2006


Over and Over You.

Amy McAuley.
New Milford, CT: Roaring Brook Press (Distributed in Canada by H.B. Fenn), 2005.
187 pp., cloth, $22.95.
ISBN 1-59643-017-6.

Subject Headings:
Psychic ability-Fiction.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Jo-Anne Mary Benson.

**Ĺ /4



Summer vacation is mere seconds away. Iím the only person in the room, probably in the whole school, paralyzed by depression. If my parents loved me as much as they claim to, theyíd let me stay home with my friends and my new boyfriend this summer.Ē (p. 49.)

Flames flicker at the ends of torches. Damp shadows caress the roomís stone walls. People are coming. Female voices travel nearer, growing louder outside the wooden door on my right. They bustle into the room, a miasma of guttural speech. My ears hear French. My brain hears their words translated into English. (p. l0.)

Dear Dream Journal
ÖI spend my days being me, but I spend my nights being someone else. And the scary thing is, the dream part seems almost as real to me as life does when Iím awake. Itís like Iím living a double life. ( p. 110.)


The psychic party, hosted by Penny Fitzsimmons' mother, would not have impacted on her had she not wanted to sample some of the delicacies from the desert tray in the living room. However, this brief appearance turned out to be a catapult to a summer of adventure when the psychic informed the 17-year-old that a boy from her past was searching for her. This was not just any boy, but a boy called Ulrich from a thousand years ago. Finally, Penny, the main character of this story, seems to have everything going for her. While looking forward to the end of school, she enjoys the companionship of her best friend, Diana, and discovers the world of romance with her first boyfriend, Ryan. Suddenly, everything falls apart when she is told that she and her sister Kali are to be spending the summer vacation with their father who lives in another town.

     Amy McAuley introduces a variety of dilemmas that add to the complexity of the story and make for an interesting main character. Since the initial psychic encounter, Penny becomes constantly plagued with lucid dreams and evening nightmares. She develops numerous premonitions and an uncanny knowledge of historical events, such as the French Revolution. Readers will observe a tormented Penny who envisions herself as Marie Antoinette, witnessing the Plaque, and living during the period of the Vikings. The narrative frequently jumps between the past and present. When disaster looms, Penny realizes that she has the ability to intervene and alter the consequences to bring about a positive ending.

     Over and Over You touches on numerous topics that are pertinent to the readerís age group. The strength of friendship and relationships are explored through many avenues such as best friends, siblings, and a first love. Amy McAuley attempts to enhance the storyline with a psychic twist, but this can cause some confusion for the reader due to the fact that she blends the narrative with flashbacks and dream journal entries. As the reader progresses, however, one can better understand the direction taken by the author. The addition of the journal allows the reader a different perspective to the main character. The gimmicks are good after grasping their relationships within the story.

     Over and Over You is an intriguing undertaking, although it is somewhat chancy for a first novel. In the end, Amy McAuley manages to pull it off by having everything coming together and leaves a sense of satisfaction for the reader.


Jo-Anne Mary Benson of Osgoode, ON, is a writer/reviewer for North American magazines, newspapers, and journals.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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