From Margaret Peterson Haddix comes another strange but intriguing sci-fi mystery, TURNABOUT. Melly and Anny-Beth were two centenarians near death when they were asked to participate in ‘Turnabout,’ a complex scientific experiment designed to reverse the aging process. Eighty-something years later, Melly and Anny-Beth are teenagers again, and they continue to get younger and younger each day. They know almost nothing about the mysterious Turnabout project, what is happening to them, or what will happen when their age hits zero. But they realize they will soon be too young to care for themselves, so they need some answers—fast. Fearful of the many doctors who are trying to study or “cure” them, and with no one to truly trust with their secret, Melly and Anny-Beth embark on a quest to finally get some answers. But at the same time, they find themselves on the run from a mysterious someone who is trying to find out more than Melly and Anny-Beth want to tell.
Turnabout is one of those truly suspenseful books that you just can’t put down. Not only is it a first-rate mystery and a futuristic sci-fi tale; it also raises some deep ethical questions about the scientific/medical world. Melly and Anny-Beth are likable, well-developed characters, and the story is told in an engaging style that makes you just want to keep reading! I was left with some questions at the end, and a feeling that the ending wasn’t fully finished (I won’t go into detail as to avoid spoilers!) But overall, Turnabout is entertaining, suspenseful, mysterious, and thought provoking--all the ingredients of a good mystery.
I award this book 4.5 out of 5 daggers.