By Margaret Peterson Haddix.
Thirteen years ago, a mysterious plane showed up out of nowhere with nobody on it but a bunch of infants, and then it disappeared after all of the kids were off the plane. Boy, has this story ever been deep-sixed by the government. The kids were adopted out into the nearby area and nobody knows of their lack of background.
Now the kids are hitting puberty. Best friends Jonah and Chip are getting some really creepy anonymous letters in the mail referring to their adoption and how "they are coming for you." This especially wigs Chip out because he had no idea he was adopted (unlike Jonah, who has sane parents who told him these things). The boys and Jonah's non-bio sister Katherine start investigating as best they can with cell phones and the Internet. But the real chiller is when an FBI agent's number is found in Jonah's file and the family goes down there to talk to him. Instead of answering questions, the guy implies that Jonah was in some kind of foreign baby-smuggling ring and could get deported and the family could be all kinds of punished for asking anything. What the hell?!? And even worse, there's some mysterious appearing/disappearing dude showing up in the FBI offices who wants Jonah to take a look at a file in the office. Jonah's being watched too much to do it, so his sister manages to get to it and takes as many photos as she can to contact both witnesses and other kids in the "baby-smuggling ring."
They finally managed to talk to a witness to the plane, Angela DuPre--but she ends up disappearing soon after like that other guy. They call around to ask the other kids, and downright freak one of them out when they discover that the kid is moving back to their area before she even knew about it. And finally, there's an "adoption seminar" going on for all the kids in the area. Yup, there is definitely something fishy going on. I'll tactfully not spoil what the fishiness is except below the spoiler cut, but it's an interesting premise, at least.
It's interestingly written...though I'm not quite sure if it's good or bad or I'm just seeing it through adult eyes rather than the presumed 13-year-old audience. I think the boys are pretty plausible in their behavior and ability to investigate. I liked Katherine the best, but that girl is SUPER together and smart for a supposed 12-year-old. Like, I had to go back and check her age. It's a specific plot-related reason that she's 12 and able to pass for a contemporary of the boys if she has to, but she sure seemed to me to be several years above her chronological age. I kinda wonder about that. As for the "bad guys," that was...kind of weird for me. They seemed sketchy and hastily done, somehow. The end of the book is a mindblower, but a bit confusing. It also ends on a cliffhanger. After looking around on the Internet a bit, it looks like the rest of the series isn't exactly going like this one and seems to be pretty different. I don't know if I want to read more of it so much after that, but maybe it's just me. I'll leave more remarks about that to the spoiler cut territory.
I'm going to give it three and a half stars overall. It's kind of in the "pretty good, but could be a bit better" territory.