Van Draanen, Wendelin. Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye (#18)
September 9th 2014 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central and reviewed there.
Sammy heads back to the Highrise for purposes known only to her, and is chased by an unknown figure and falls three floors. She is brought to the hospital, unconscious but not too badly injured otherwise. Her friends and family are all extremely upset, and rally around her. Her grandmother and her new husband, the policeman with whom she had worked, her friends from school, her movie star mother and rock star father, and just about everyone else Sammy's life touched shows up at the hospital. The case of the nightie-napper, which Sammy was presumed to be working on, manages to get solved over at the Highrise, and Sammy's life is in danger the whole time she is in the hospital. A scruffy and shady looking orderly is hanging around, and the motion detector on Sammy's bed keeps getting turned off, but there are so many people in and out of her room that the orderly is not able to harm her. Eventually, her friends figure out who this is and why he wants to hurt Sammy, but will the plucky girl detective regain consciousness?
Strengths: This is definitely a love note by Van Draanen to a character she has been working with since 1998, the year that I started volunteering at my library! All loose ends are tied up, and a satisfying conclusion pointing out just how Sammy has affected the lives of those around her is provided. Fans will be pleased. I especially like that the covers have remained similar in design over the last 16 years.
Weaknesses: Somewhere along the line, about 2006, I lost track of Sammy, and now only the last five books are available in hardcover. I think I'll order them, but I'm not trolling Half.com to find the others. Eighteen books is a bit too long for a series, and I don't think there is a single school in my entire district that has kept up with all the books. This will bug me a little, but I know that as soon as I would get the whole series, someone would lose book #5, and I would just cry!
Honestly, I adored this author's The Running Dream SOOOOO much that I am just waiting to see what she will write that is NOT Sammy related. It will be awesome, I'm sure!