Thursday, November 04, 2021


Diaz, Christina Diaz. Concealed
October 19th 2021 by Scholastic Press
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Katrina is used to being on the run and operating under an assumed identity; Katrina is just the lastest in an alphabetical march through various names. Her father was a scientist who ran afoul of a drug cartel, so the family is in the witness protection program, and gets help only from a man going by X. They've been living in cities, because it's easier to disappear in a crowd, but their latest placement is an RV in the country. Katrina is homeschooled and the family shies away from technology, but the only other teen in the area is Parker. He's living with a relative after his mother died of a drug overdose, and is an excellent computer hacker. Katrina has no memory of her life before an accident a few years previously, when she almost died. When her father is arrested, she and Parker go on the run to a safe house in Georgia, and try to investigate her past along the way. She does find X, but his recounting of her past doesn't line up with her father's, so she is leery of his help. The mystery gets deeper and deeper as Katrina and Parker uncover the company behind her father's research, are reunited with her father and mother, and find out secrets about her own past and the families involvement with scientific experimentation. I don't want to give away too many details and spoil the twists and turns!
Strengths: This was a pulse pounding, pell mell adventure that I enjoyed quite a bit. It started a bit like Sorrell's Fake ID, but then took a fascinating scientific turn, reminiscent of Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox. Both Katrina and Parker have struggled with every day life because of their circumstances, so they have a unique understanding of each other. There's something about being "on the run" that is endlessly appealing to my readers, and this journey involves a cow transport and a luxury yacht! The best part is the scientific twist that I don't want to spoil. 
Weaknesses: This got a bit confusing in the middle, when it was hard to differentiate the good guys from the bad guys. That might be because this is more of a Young Adult novel, and those aren't as clear cut as middle grade novels when it comes to villains. Not really a weakness, just an observation.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and will be great to hand to fans of Smith's Boy X, Elston's The Rules for Disappearing, and Watson's Loot.
 Ms. Yingling

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