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Dead to You

Review

Dead to You

Ethan was kidnapped from his front yard when he was seven years old. Now, at 16, he has found his family on a website for missing children. He has been homeless for a while, and the reintroduction to family life is not going smoothly.

"Author Lisa McMann has written strong suspense fiction for teens with powerful, likable characters, and DEAD TO YOU is no exception. She includes many surprise twists in this engrossing page turner while creating a layered situation where it’s possible to sympathize with many points of view."

Ethan’s family is having a hard time adjusting to his reappearance. While his mom and dad are thrilled, they are fearful every time Ethan wants to leave the house and have him call frequently even when he is just down the street at a neighbor’s. His brother Blake keeps asking him why he got into a stranger’s car in the first place. Blake was with him when it happened, though was only four years old at the time. He thinks Ethan should have known better, and thus ruined the family and his life as a result of the abduction. His parents had a baby, Gracie, who is now six and quickly becomes the friend Ethan needs in this uncomfortable new situation.

Media interviews unhinge Ethan as they ask him questions about Eleanor, the woman he stated kidnapped him. Her real name is Ellen, and he protects her as she was practically his mother, caring for him for years. It was only when she dropped him off at a group home in Oklahoma a couple of years ago that he began to doubt his origins.

Cami, a beautiful girl from down the street, tries to help Ethan adjust. But his feelings for her quickly become more than she wants, and they struggle to find their way to each other.

School becomes another challenge as Ethan did not attend while homeless and only occasionally before that. He feels out of step there as well and is frustrated when he cannot be in classes with other teens his age.

Blake’s continuing anger only increases as he tries to find ways to make Ethan feel like he doesn’t belong. Ethan attempts to fit in to the first stable family situation he can remember as matters become increasingly volatile. He, too, finds his anger exploding and his emotions veering out of control. As more clues are revealed, readers will be turning pages rapidly to see what happens.

Author Lisa McMann has written strong suspense fiction for teens with powerful, likable characters, and DEAD TO YOU is no exception. She includes many surprise twists in this engrossing page turner while creating a layered situation where it’s possible to sympathize with many points of view.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on March 19, 2012

Dead to You
by Lisa McMann