Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: Dead to You

Dead to You by Lisa McMann
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Published by Simon Pulse
Hardcover: 256 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:  
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

Mini-summary:  Dead to You is a YA novel, exploring the darker side of family, identity, love and desperation.

Why I read this book:  Like countless others, I read and really enjoyed the Wake trilogy by the Lisa McMann.  Also, I'm always interested to read stand-alone novels by an author who has written a series to see how they stack up.

Abducted from his family as a child, Dead to You, opens with sixteen-year-old Ethan De Wilde meeting with his family after nine years in an emotional and heartbreaking reunion.  The fact that Ethan can't remember any details about his life (or the people in it) before being abducted further complicates an already delicate situation.

Dead to You explores the universal themes of identity and self-worth, desperation, love and what it means to be a family.  Lisa McMann is spot on with the evolving nature of the family dynamic through the book.

She just gets it.

Given the nature of the main character's upbringing after being abducted, the book could have taken much darker route.  Ethan's story is threaded with believable undertones of hope and joy, which, as a reader, I greatly appreciated.  A perfect example of this is the relationship between Ethan and his little sister Gracie.  The the tender moments they shared, like hiding treasures in a lunch box for the other sibling to discover, were beautiful and real.  Gracie's character, whose youthful exuberance and innocence made Ethan's anger and isolation just a bit more bearable.

About three-quarters of the way through the book, I found myself wondering where the plot was headed.  I wanted more concrete details on Ethan's former life and to know what the outcome would be for his captor.  I imagine many people will be unsatisfied with the book's ending - somewhat justifiably  in my opinion.

But not quite.

Yes, the book ends abruptly.  As in, I turned the few blank pages at the end to be sure I hadn't missed anything!  But that was it.  And given the nature of major curve ball Lisa McMann throws at the reader, it's the only way I can now see Dead to You ending.

Rating: 3 

Memorable Quotes:
“Feels like I'm in a play and I don't know all my lines.”

“Because if you don't have at least one person believing in you, then there's not much reason to give a shit about anything.” 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

new blog ZOMG!

I started this blog so I could converse with other book-obsessed people like me.  I'm always on the look out for new and innovative authors with captivating voice and characters I wish I knew in real life.  I don't review books professionally and any reviews on this site are my own opinion.  Not all books receive positive reviews, but I will give my honest feedback.  I'd love to hear recommendations from other readerly folks!

things to know about me

I am a writer. no, I don't have a book published - although some day I hope to. for now I'm content to spend what free time I can find typing away on my laptop on my current work in progress. more updates to come on that soon....

my favorite novel is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. read it if you haven't already.  I'm a little obsessed with it's awesomeness.

this is my cat Zoe.

and my other cat Bailey

they pretty much run the house - or like to think they do :)

I have a strange fascination with zombie movies and books. 

feel free to leave some comment love<3  happy reading!