Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run, alone on the streets of Philadelphia.
"Rose's inventive debut novel follows shy Lee as she learns that her gift for remaining undetected makes her a queen of the five-finger discount. Lee's shoplifting prowess catches the attention of Edie, a popular girl at school, whose friendship opens a door to boys, drugs, and parties. But all this quickly evaporates after a drug bust and Edie's betrayal, which lands Lee in juvie. Inside, she discovers a secret ward for deeply disturbed teens, whose souls seem to have vacated their earthly shells. In quick succession, Lee escapes from solitary and stumbles upon a hideout for homeless runaways known as the Crystal Castle, with its enigmatic, cultlike leader, the Station Master. Ominous connections between her new crowd and the kids in the mental ward bubble to the surface, as a swirling conspiracy reveals itself, with none other than surrealist mastermind Marcel Duchamp lurking at its center. With dynamic characters and unforgettable scenes, including after-hours museum sex, mysterious pursuers, and wondrous evasions, Rose's captivating, art-anchored pager-turner reads like a mashup of Home Alone and The Da Vinci Code (2003).--Báez, Diego Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"The 17-year-old heroine of Rose's debut novel, a richly detailed intellectual thriller set in contemporary Philadelphia, has already been through an adventurous childhood and adolescence when she ends up in juvie, set up by a former friend for a crime she hasn't committed. Not that Lee Cuddy hasn't earned her stay there: a natural-born shoplifter, she has also sold enough drugs to accumulate thousands of dollars in cash. Escaped from prison, she winds up in a creepy, cultish home for runaways and then goes on the lam with Tomi, a gentle Czech boy who has a talent for data retrieval, a taste for urban exploration, and a passion for the work of French artist Marcel Duchamp (whose "readymades" cemented the idea that ordinary objects could be considered art if their assembler defined them as such). After Lee steals a satchel from the office of the cult leader, she finds herself pursued by the mysterious Societe Anonyme, which is involved in the production of designer drugs. While Rose may put in one too many obscure references to alchemy and unified field theory, Lee is an excellent character, and the many shadowy settings she travels through make for a fascinating vision of an alternate, underground Philadelphia. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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