Sandyland was NOT Hawaii. That's where Madison Sabatini and her parents were supposed to go on vacation this summer. Some vacation! They left for the beach in such a hurry that Madison only had one change of clothes. At least she had her camera ... until she dropped it. Madison winds up at Psychic Photo, the only camera store around, where she crosses paths with Delilah, Leo, and Duncan, who become her summer friends. Though Madison considers the three beach friends only temporary fill-ins for her friends back home. Delilah, with her pink hair, is nothing like Madison's friends at home. Plus, she worked in a store where her mom offered "transformational experiences." How weird is that? Not as weird as taking pictures of people who weren't in your shot. The mystery of her camera’s power to capture ghost-like images forges an unbreakable bond between them. First Madison takes a picture of a woman killed in a car accident. Then she sees a woman who is dying in her viewfinder. No one - not even Delilah's mom - could explain it. When Madison saw her new friend Duncan in that viewfinder, she freaked. What was going to happen to him?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Fully developed characters and realism add depth to a story with a "fantastic" subplot.

Content Awareness Factors:


Little Kid Reaction

I loved every word of Carol Snow’s novel. Madison’s situation is relatable for anyone who has had to move to a new place as a teenager, anyone who is learning the ropes of their first romantic relationship, and anyone who has experienced happenings that can only be explained in the realm of energy fields. I recommend Snap for every teenage girl, and think boys will enjoy it too. I wish I knew what happens in Madison’s life next!

Teen 2: Snap differs from other books I've read. Even though the ending was predictable, it was an interesting read. The characters and setting are well developed, as well as the story dynamics. I enjoyed Snap, but I wouldn’t read it again. It was a quick paced and told an interesting story, but was chock-full of cliches and boring at time. Overall, it is a relatable and exciting story for young teens to read.

Parent Reaction

The story is gripping and fun. Madison is a character you want to cheer for and yell at, sometimes all at once. She has so much depth, but can also be shallow - which allows the readers to make choices for themselves. Madison's parents and the other adults in the story are genuine; not at all over-the-top or stereotypical. Given the cover and blurb on the back I was expecting something eerier. Even so, I wasn't disappointed. This is a great book.

Type of Book:
This young adult novel offers a realistic fantasy. It has potential as a high interest / low readability book.
Educational Themes:

Because of the breadth and depth of the realistic elements of the story, there are lots of themes to explore: stereotyping, change, dramatic life events, friendship (and judging friends). Snap would make an exceptional choice for a young adult or mother-daughter book club.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a fabulous story definitely worth reading.

Title Snap
Author Carol Snow
Publisher HarperTeen, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2009
ISBN 9780061452116
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Family, Friendship, Growing Up
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