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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Other Side of Dark
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon May 22, 2014
Joan Lowery Nixon's plethora of awards were for youths but she didn't churn out fluff. Far beyond creating a mystery and worthwhile coming-of-age commentary: "The Other Side Of Dark", 1986, makes readers think. Uncomfortable stretches of imagination in obscure, seldom-trodden circumstances.... and yet based upon enough reality that we decide we ought to plan how to react, lest such a thing occur! She was mistress of little touches that lent dire possibilities credence. If a writer's chief task is to give her readers the capacity for grasping how her protagonists feel, I unhesitatingly say Joan possessed this gift.

I don't know if this is science fiction or a known medical affliction but after being shot, Stacy is semi-comatose. She awakens at long enough intervals for eating, exercising, and growing but her conscious memory laid dormant for four years. Thus when she snaps out of it at seventeen and very naturally asks for her Mother: she needs to be told her Mother was killed by the intruder and that she isn't the thirteen year-old her mind and body were last aware of. Most striking to me, which I wonder how many people grasped, is the very dramatic cusp of the era! It already takes wrangling to absorb that our best friend would wear make-up, date, and drive. But consider the societal leaps from 1982 to 1986. Just for instance: we went from the word `computer' being futuristic jargon, to the average business employing one - including the police.

My four-star rating is due to there being no mystery that could be solved through investigative talent. Recognition would have to strike Stacy. Also a newspaper man's intrusion was absurd, given the sensitivity of murder and a hospital patient. I admire the staggering originality, heightened emotions, and deft twisting of what we anticipate.
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on January 5, 2004
Ever wondered what it would be like going into a time machine into the future? Well that's what happened to 13 year-old Stacy McAdams, though instead of using a time machine, she was shot into a 4 year coma by an unknown murderer. When she finally awoke from her seemingly perpetual slumber, her whole life and even herself had changed, literally. Her friends have matured, complete with a totally different style and attitude. Her sister has married without her as the maid of honor and just recently became pregnant. As she tries to straighten these overwhelming thoughts and emotions, Stacey is soon presented with the perfect thing to top it all off: her mother was murdered, the killer is still at large, and Stacey was the only witness to see her mother's assassinator. The only catch: she can't seem to remember his face! Fueling with determination to solve this ambiguous and malicious crime, Stacey must race against the clock to try and figure out who really was the cruel man that ended her mother's life and flipped her own life around... before that man goes off and finishes the job...
I thought this book had a very creative plot and twist to it. It has everything a good book needs: a load of suspense, a handful of adventure, some specks of romance, and a touch of humor here and there. Although the ending WAS kind of predictable, I still love the book anyways.
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on December 22, 2003
If you are a person interested in mystery books, The Other Side of Dark by Joan Lowery Nixon is a great book for you. I enjoyed this book very much. I recommend this book to young adults. I say this because it is a murder mystery. I was hooked on this book. I had to keep on reading to find out what happens next. The Other Side of Dark is filled with tremendous surprises.
The Other Side of Dark is about a girl named Stacy McAdams who was shot when she was thirteen years old. She has been in a type of coma for four years. Stacy's mother was also shot at the same time Stacy was, unfortunately she died from her gunshot wound. Stacy wakes up from her coma when she in seventeen, she is confused about everything that happened. She finds out her mother died. Her sister Donna got married and is expecting a child and her father is working two jobs to pay off all of the family bills. Stacy missed many things in four years. She not only missed four years of schooling but she didn't know the new fashion sense or how to put on makeup or that girls were eventually suppose to like boys.
Stacy is so upset at the person who shot her and murdered her mother. She is the only one who has seen his face. However, Stacy has problems remembering that far back. Occasionally she has flashbacks and remembers minor details. Stacy's friends Jan and B.J fix her up with a new person in town, Jeff. Stacy grows to really like Jeff; he becomes her first love. Jeff, Stacy, Jan and B.J all go to a party given for Stacy. There at the party, Stacy is having conversation with the killer and she doesn't know it. He tries to take Stacy away and is caught she finally realizes it is him. " It's you, You're the one who killed my mother." The killer disappears before the police can get to the house where the party was. Will Stacy ever find the killer? If you want to find out the ending, you should read this book. It is great it keeps you hooked the whole time.
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on July 23, 2002
In Houston, Texas, 17-year-old Stacy McAdams has been in a coma for 4 years, the result of a gunshot wound dealt by a burglar, who had also killed Stacy's mother in the process. After waking up from years of dormancy, Stacy is still unclear about the events, but she's determined to identify the killer, despite the harassing phone calls and a nocturnal prowler outside her home. But will she be able to recognize the killer before he decides to return and finish what he'd started?
Because "The Other Side of Dark" had received so many awards and positive reviews (including the Edgar Allan Poe Award), I had expected this book to be topnotch. However, it wasn't as exciting or suspenseful as I had hoped. For starters, the entire book was told in the present tense, which sort of threw me. And for being only 185 pages long, it wasn't very fast-paced. In fact, it took me about a week to finish this one. But if you like teen mysteries and are a Joan Lowery Nixon fan, then you might like "The Other Side of Dark".
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on March 21, 2002
This book was the best, right from the beginning I loved it. Joan Lowery Nixon's second book I have ever read is better then the first one. I definently recommend this book to others!!!! But, this book IS mostly horror, so I would say that if you get scared easily or don't like things involving murder, guns, and stalking then I DON'T recommend this to you.
This book is about a seventeen year old girl named Stacy, who has just woken from a four year coma to find out that she isn't thirteen anymore. Also that her mother was murdered. She saw the murderer's face that also shot her, but she just can't remember it. After a reporter comes in, she starts to think that what will happen if the murderer finds her before she remembers the face? Things are hard to get used to when you are used to being thirteen. Her friend helps her with makeup and she starts to think about the four grades she has missed and will somehow have to make up. Soon she is offered a baby-sitting job by her next door neighbor, her sister doesn't agree, but she says yes anyway. When baby-sitting, one of the girls comes down stairs after using the restroom and says that she has seen... whoops I am getting carried away. I don't want to ruin the WHOLE story for you. So in order to find out what she sees (which is scary by the way) you will have to read this book on your own, to find out also who is Stacy's mom's murderer, and will he find her before she remembers his face. READ IT, I'M TELLING YOU IT IS A GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!
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on December 6, 2001
A Review by Jessie
Stacy wakes up in a hospital bed, to discover her worst nightmare! She had been in a coma for four years! While she has been in a deep sleep, the world has gone on with out her-leaving her behind. Stacy's family reveals the real reason why she was put in her unfortunate state. She was shot, and her mother was murdered. Stacy was the only eyewitness. The only thing that is holding her back from putting the man, who has changed her life forever in jail, is her memory. She sees only his eyes; her memory will not reveal his whole face. As she enquirers many suspicious people and problems, her determination will keep her alive. Stacy will not rest until her mothers murder is put in jail. I could not put this book down! If you like scary, suspenseful books then I highly recommend this book!
I really enjoyed all of the characters in this book. They were all very believable. Stacy was very realistic, the way she acted when she faced problems. Like when she first woke up from the coma, I could understand the way she felt. I could relate to some of her problems. All of the characters made me feel like I was included in the book. I heard all of their thoughts in great detail and knew the decisions that they would eventually make. I have always been interested in scary, thrilling books and this book defiantly covered my preferences. Sometimes I would stay up late because whenever I would try to put the book down another frightening problem would occur. So I just had to keep on reading. One time, I was going to stop reading and Stacy got a suspicious phone call. After that I had to read another thirty minutes. I thought the book was a good length. When the ending came I have to admit I was hoping for a little more. I felt so included in the characters life's I wanted to find out their futures. But I thought that the minimum was covered. I thought this book defiantly deserved 5 stars.
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on November 20, 2000
The Other Side of Dark by Joan Lowry Nixon is a suspense-thriller that keeps you flipping pages. It is about a girl who woke up from a coma and realized that she had been asleep for four years.
When the girl, Stacy, wakes up, she becomes reacquainted with her dad and friends. She wants to remember who shot her in the hip and put her into a coma and who shot and killed her mother. However, she can't remember the face of the man she saw that night. Then she meets an old friend and they go to a party. She sees a gun in the car of one of the guys she meets there. She puts together some clues and realizes who the person is. She then remembers that he has been around for a long time and realizes that it was he that killed her mom.
The story goes from there and really takes off. I think that it is a good story by a person who really knows about teenage life. It will have you reading all night--but don't take my word for it; read it yourself!
~reader
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on September 5, 2002
Joan Lowery Nixon is definitely the best mystery writer! With "The Other Side of Dark," she went an extra mile, with her super-descriptive adjectives, and her page-turning charisma! She actually made you feel sorry for the character, as though you were a friend! Could it get any better? Please tell me when it can!....
The story is centered around a girl named Stacy McAdams. She wakes up in a hospital bed, having no idea why she's there! She's quickly informed that she was shot, and had just awakened from a coma four years later! The person who shot her killed her mother, and now Stacy is seventeen (only knowing how to act like a thirteen year old) feeling all alone. But, wait! The murderer would flee the country, right? He wouldn't be crazy enough to come back for Stacy! Would he?
Also recommended: "Name of the Game Was Murder," "Who Are You," "Nobody's There," and "Ghosts of Now." All by the magnificent and talented Joan Lowery Nixon!
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on June 18, 2002
The Other Side of the Dark was written by Joan Lowery Nixon. It's not excactly a new book but it's still really well written! This book could easily be compared to Don't Scream another book written by JL Nixon. In both there is a murderer unknown out to strike again. The Other Side of the Dark better though.
JL Nixon has written many other books. Here are some that are much like The Other Side of the Dark: Don't Scream, Murdered My Sweet, The House on Hackmans Hill and much, much more. JL Nixon writes scary books that are really good and make you always at the tip of your toes.
This book was good because for days after people read it they always think that the next thing that they know they'll wake up in a hospital having been in a coma for years. That's how realistic it is!
I would recomend this book to anybody who likes scary stories. This is one of Joan Lowery Nixon's bests!
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on April 1, 2002
This book is REALLY GOOD. There is excitment from the beginning of the book to the end. Many scary moments are involved. I would really recommend this book to you, but if you get scared easily I would suggest that you don't read this book.
This book is about a girl named Stacy who has just woken from a 4 year coma. Her mother was shot and killed, and she was shot, but she had seen her mother's murderer. She is the only witness, and now she must remember the murderer's face, before, the murderer finds her. So, when she goes to... Woops, I should make you read the end. It is full of suspense, if she finds her mother's murderer, or if the murderer finds her, if the murderer does find her, does the person kill her?
In order to find out you have to read this book (which I suggest you do)!!!!!!!!!!
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