The rgz Street Team is a group of teens who bring YA reviews to our blog, led by Postergirl Miss Erin. Find out more.
Today, Olivia reviews The Amanda Project Revealed, by Peter Silsbee (which has an amazing interactive website you can get involved with to help write future Amanda books!):
"In Revealed, the second book in the Amanda Project series, high school students Hal, Callie, and Nia continue to try to solve the mystery of their missing friend, Amanda Valentino, who has disappeared. Amanda herself is a mystery and seems to be leaving them clues, encouraging them to follow her path and try to find her. While the first book in the series, Invisible I, was from Callie’s perspective and was written by Melissa Kantor, the second book is from Hal’s perspective and was written by Peter Silsbee.
"Revealed resumes the adventures of Hal, Callie, and Nia shortly after they launched the Amanda Project website at the end of the first book, Invisible I. At the beginning of Revealed, Hal has been called to the principal’s office to talk to the police: Vice Principal Thornhill, who has always had a mysterious link with Amanda’s disappearance, has been attacked after his office was broken into. While Callie creates a distraction, Hal breaks into Thornhill’s office and finds a hidden list of names, some that he recognizes (including his own family), on Thornhill’s computer. This is just one of the many mysteries that pop up during Revealed.
"While the book could be said to focus on Hal, Callie, and Nia trying to recover the box, it follows the pattern of the previous Amanda Project book in that many other mysteries and discoveries are made but are not necessarily solved within the book. Because it is part of an eight-book series, Revealed is not the typical mystery that is solved by the end of the book. While it is not confusing, it is certainly complicated, which many readers might embrace. The fact that it is an eight-book mystery also allows the author to focus not solely on the mystery, but also develop more fully the relationship between the characters, as much of Revealed is about the dynamics between Hal, Callie, and Nia, which makes the story more interesting.
"The writing in Revealed is not extraordinarily beautiful or epic, which fits with the concept that the book is narrated by a teenage boy and makes the book easier to read and more relatable to the average teenager. The purpose of the story is not the writing but the plot, and those at HarperCollins have done an admirable job of making the plot central both through the actual story and through the Amanda Project website. On the website, readers create a character that is somehow part of Amanda’s life in the fictional world, and can post ideas and start debates about Amanda and her disappearance. Every Friday, a new part of the mystery is unraveled or a new mystery is generated when a story is posted on the website that website members can then discuss.
"The website is closely linked to the book series, and the website is often referred to throughout the books as a place where Hal, Callie, and Nia go to look for new discoveries or clues. Members of the website can also post art work or writing for others to read and comment on. The Amanda Project as a whole is a very unique and progressive way of involving readers in the story and creating interest and activity surrounding the series long after the publication of one of the books.
"While Revealed is an extremely interesting book, any potential reader might first want to look at the first book in the series, Invisible I, so that they can be more fully informed about the series before jumping into the mystery in Revealed. I would recommend this book to all young adult readers but especially anyone who enjoys interactive communities on the internet and would like to become a part of the Amanda Project website." --Olivia