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Caught in the Act

Review

Caught in the Act

High school sophomore Ethan Lederer is an honor student and all-around great guy. He has lots of friends and a girlfriend who all adore him. His parents think highly of him and hope that he will follow in their Ivy League and medical school footsteps.

Ethan, however, is not as interested in science and math as his parents think. In fact, his near-perfect grades are threatened by his performance in chemistry class. Wanting to please his family, and the role they hope he will play, Ethan remains silent and lets them believe he is on track to medical school. The one thing that is truly important to Ethan, however, is neither science nor math, but the theatre.

And then, Lydia Krane shows up one day in Ethan's chemistry class. There's something compelling about the new girl, with her changing accents and babydoll t-shirts. Plus, Lydia is different from Ethan's family and friends. She doesn't expect him to be something he's not, and they have something in common --- the love of the stage. Both Ethan and Lydia try out for the spring play, a modern-day reinterpretation of the Shakespearean classic, Macbeth. They get parts, and become closer friends.

Ethan confides in Lydia what he can't confide in anyone else: "No matter how hard I try, I just won't ever be as smart as them, as good as them...I'm just really good at faking it...I'm doing it all the time, twenty-four/seven. Acting like I'm a good student, good son, good everything. Acting like it comes easy to me. But it's a real struggle. I feel like a total fraud half the time."

As Ethan continues the facade of good student, he does the unthinkable. He cheats on a chemistry exam rather than risk getting a bad grade. His plan backfires when he gets caught, but then Lydia Krane intervenes, which in the end makes Ethan's situation worse.

As Ethan lets Lydia into his life more and more, he notices that Lydia is changing and becoming more clingy and more obsessed with him. Ethan finds out more is at risk than his perfect image, and Lydia is not who he thought she was at all.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT is an engaging novel with a twisting storyline. Author Peter Moore does a good job of letting us into Ethan's life and exploring, along with Ethan, who he really is. The character of Lydia Krane is both creepy and mesmerizing. We only hope for the best for good boy Ethan, to get himself out of the bad situations in which he gets captured.

Reviewed by Kristi Olson on April 7, 2005

Caught in the Act
by Peter Moore

  • Publication Date: April 7, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile
  • ISBN-10: 0670059900
  • ISBN-13: 9780670059904