The Voice on the Radio is the third book in the Janie Johnson series; beware spoilers for the first two below, but I do promise no spoilers for this one.
It's been a little more than a year since Janie found her own picture on the milk carton, and life is finally settling into a slightly less chaotic pattern. She still lives with the Johnsons, but she regularly visits the Springs, and some of the Spring siblings visit her. Janie's life is alright, but she misses Reeve terribly. He's gone off to college in Boston, where he takes a job working at the local college radio station. One night he finds himself with a talk radio time slot, and an hour to kill. Before he knows it, he's telling Janie's story to fill the time.
I'd venture to say that The Voice on the Radio is almost more Reeve's story than Janie's, which kind of breaks up what could become a rather self-centered series. This book also allows the reader to get a feel for the story from Reeve's point of view. (The Face on the Milk Carton is from Janie's point of view.) We get to see how the kidnapping affected a very wide circle of people, even beyond the Johnsons and Springs. Reeve was the perfect supportive boyfriend through it all, and that's emphasized in this book. Both Reeve and Janie reminisce about how she would literally and physically lean into him for support during the investigation and aftermath. This is Reeve's time; he's off at college, trying to find himself, and he makes a stupid mistake by telling Janie's story on the radio.
As an adult reading this book, I was equally outraged at Reeve for the breach of trust, and also a little sympathetic. I mean, what teen/young adult hasn't made a stupid mistake? He was too perfect in the first two books: it was almost unreal how patient he was with Janie and how he never seemed to need time to pursue his own interests or anything. So I was mad at him for betraying Janie, and yet glad for him to be off at college pursuing an interest.
Janie isn't completely in the background on this one; the reader still gets to spend time in her thoughts too, and to see her character also grow and mature. Particularly of note is the growth of strength in her relationships with Jody and Brian Spring. They really become much closer in this book than they did in Whatever Happened to Janie?
Like the two previous books, this one won't be winning a literary award but it's just such an entertaining series! And for me, it was a delightful trip down memory lane, as I had begun the series when it was first released way back when. :)
I listened to The Voice on the Radio rather than reading a physical copy, and I give the narration a thumbs up. Nothing spectacular to note, but it was good. Nice even tone and clear enunciation.
*I checked out my copy of The Voice on the Radio from my local library.