Dead To You by Lisa McMann
Simon Pulse, 243 Pages
US Release Date: February 7, 2012
Challenges: Local Library Challenge
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...
I watch Cami talk to my mother and father and I can hear that laugh. It's like a cat bell, so pretty yet alarming, because I know I'm letting myself fall when maybe I should fly away. But that loneliness inside, it's so fucking painful. It's that longing feeling that scratches to escape and makes you want to blurt out all kinds of gushy crap just to get the girl to look at you[...]I hate it. Love its melty-ness and hate its leash around my neck.
***SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION. SKIP AHEAD TO AFTER THE OBNOXIOUS CAPS FOR THE NON-SPOILERY PART. You've been warned!
OH MY GOD. WHAT JUST HAPPENED. I swear to you, if there isn't a Dead To You #2 somewhere on the horizon, Lisa McMann is going to get a very frustrated letter! I'm absolutely dying to know what is going to happen with Ethan (or "Ethan" as the case may be) and how the DeWilde's are going to handle it and what about Cami?!
Oh my god oh my GOD.
*****END SPOILERS. Read below for the non-spoilery review!
I was a little weary when I saw this book on the shelves because I've read the Wake trilogy (read my reviews of Fade and Gone!), and I was sort of lukewarm about them - they were good and I am still enamored at the idea, but somehow they lacked. However, when I read the book jacket of Dead To You, I was immediately blown away again by the plot line: an abducted child returns to his family and has to readjust? You never heard that side of the story in the news. It's a blessing and a miracle when abducted children are found, but no one really thinks much about what happens after. And for a child to come back after 9 years? Oh man.
And I have to say, Lisa McMann really delivered with this book. It was thrilling and suspenseful and a bit heartbreaking. I was really torn during the entire second half, wondering about Blake and his opinion and if there was truth to it...I mean, you can't dedicate 100+ pages to a thought and just have it shot down by a "you're taking this too far, go to your room," you know? Everything is crafted so well, the reader is so hopeful for Ethan's readjustment...but at the same time, that little nagging doubt is there at the back of your head too, where you know something is up.
Gracie and Ethan's interactions with her really won me over. And I'll be honest here: I'm not a fan of children. I'm terrible with them, I don't know how to approach them or talk to them and I have about zero mothering instinct in real life -- so to have a child be the highlight? That's huge. Their relationship was done so well with such little moments of real connection and love that it was just...so much fun to read.
I also have to mention Lisa McMann's writing style: it's perfect for the subject matter in her books. It's clipped, no frills, and carries such a distinct tone and voice that it completely sucks you in. I get so caught up in what's going on in the book I'll completely lose track of everything around me.
Dead To You is an engaging, thrilling read that keeps you at the edge of your seat, wondering what's happening and what will happen that you just can't flip pages fast enough.
4.5 Stars / 5
*added to my Birthday Giveaway!