A Closer Look
By Karen DellaCava
“…and there were these moments—when we laughed on the phone, or met for a kiss-and-run, when I noticed the sweet way he looked at me—well, I felt so good I could almost forget about my secret. But in the back of mind, it was like an invisible fist was lurking, one that followed me around, just waiting for the chance to rip out more hair.”
High school freshman, Cassie Donavan, is a stand-out sprinter about to move up to varsity track. Mom, a former teen model and Robin Lakewood, a competitive teammate are more than enough to handle when Cassie discovers her body is turning against her. On New Year’s morning she awakens to her pillow covered with her long hair. Mom and Dad explain alopecia areata—a secret they’ve kept from Cassie since she was three. And now it’s happening again. Cassie is losing her hair.
Life gets even more complicated when Cassie falls for jazz sax player, Tommy Sweeny.
Every day Cassie battles with her reflection, desperate to keep her hair loss a secret. Only her family and best friend, Tara Speziale, know the truth. With her rapidly changing appearance, relationships with Mom and Tommy are strained, damaged. And when Tara urges Cassie to race at a crowded track meet, Cassie is trapped in her worst nightmare. Shattered, she hides at home embarrassed and ashamed. Does she dare renew her trust in her family and friends? Will Cassie have the courage to take a closer look?
Karen DelleCava is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and her short stories have appeared in Highlights magazine. When Karen isn't reading, working on her next novel, or playing Scrabble, you can find her at the gym in step aerobics or Zumba classes. A Closer Look is her first young adult novel.
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