The Voice on the Radio by Caroline B. Cooney
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Published in 1996
Recommended Age Group: 14 and Up
Summary: The Voice on the Radio is the third book in the series that started with The Face on the Milk Carton. This one begins with emails that Janie and Reeve send to each other. Janie misses him and wants to skip High School, Reeve misses her too but is somewhat more practical. Reeve started a new job as a Radio DJ during a talk hour and he panics when he finds he has nothing to say. To save embarrassment he begins to tell listeners all about Janie’s kidnapping. The show was a hit and he talks about her private life and struggles two days a week for nearly three months. He never dreams that he will get caught and occasionally he feels bad about it and even makes feeble attempts to stop but the idea of fame has a strong hold.
Meanwhile Janie is facing her junior year of High School and trying to cope with people who won’t let the kidnapping become the past. There are friends, reporters, and classmates who seem to think it’s a great story but they don’t see the people involved and the pain that it causes.
In the Spring household the oldest Stephen left for college. Jodie is in her senior year trying to pick a college. Brendan is the new sports star of every sport in Junior High and Brian, his twin, found that he is not great at sports but loves history. The family changes become more pronounced with the purchase of a new home and everyone gets a room to themselves.
In the end Reeve does get caught and the cost is much higher than he imagined it would be. Stephen finds he is peaceful at home. The Spring parents are able to let go of their children and live more carefree. Brian faces and embraces the difference between him and his twin and Janie is able to love both families equally and really put the past behind her.
Personal Notes: Like the last two books this one didn’t really end it just stopped. It felt like she had a deadline and just turned in what she had thus far. That said I really liked the book as a whole. It was a lot more interesting because it involved more than just Janie and her feelings. It went quite in depth to their feelings and their experiences. It also focused less on the kidnapping. Of course there was Reeve telling it all on the radio but other than that it wasn’t rehashed again. I can’t wait to see how the series ends.
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