March 2, 2012

Book Review: Dead to You by Lisa McMann (Guest Post)

Dead to You

Dead To You by Lisa McMann
Published by Simon Pulse February 2012


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.


Donna and I met when I worked at the library near the high school where she taught. She was kind enough to let me join the high school book club she began and we partnered running the meetings. I instantly felt a connection with her as she loves YA as much as I do and is such a wonderfully, kind and genuine person. She is also tons of fun to be with and we have the same sense of humour. I'm so happy that even though we no longer "work" together, she's become a very dear friend. 

Her Thoughts:

This novel left me reeling. Fast-paced from start to finish, Lisa McMann has written another super page-turner. This story is about a teenaged boy, abducted at the age of seven, who, after nine years, is returned to his family. The book opens at the very moment when a Child Youth Worker hands Ethan back over to the care of his family. Thrilled to have him back, the de Wildes try to help Ethan transition back into their lives. During his absence, his younger brother, Blake and brand new sister, Gracie have filled the void for his parents, Paul and Maria. Ethan, used to living on the streets, struggles to follow their household's routines and structure, and works to fit into family mealtimes, school and counselling. 

This story is told entirely from the perspective of Ethan. As the reader follows his story, they come to empathize with his uncertainty and frustration at his lack of memories of his life before he was taken. Ethan does not want to talk about his life on the road and seems almost protective of the woman who raised him. As his neighbourhood (and one beautiful girl named Cami) welcome him home, Ethan faces anger and jealousy from his brother, who is the only person to be suspicious of him. The conflict between brothers worsens as Ethan begins to build relationships with his sister and parents. The final portion of the novel was very cleverly written. As Ethan finally begins to see a hopeful future, a shocking twist is revealed that changes everything. 

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to readers who like surprises! It would be an ideal novel for discussion and book talks.

Thanks Donna!!!

1 comment:

  1. You liked this book much more than I did, but I agree with you about the twist in the end. Do you reckon there's going to be a sequel?