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The night of the party, Chase and his friends are too drunk to get behind the wheel, so Chase calls his ex-girlfriend, Angela, to pick him up. But as Angela is driving home, a car comes speeding around a curve in the road. Angela can't avoid the vehicle and it hits them head-on. Everyone in Angela's car dies except for Chase, who falls out of the passenger door.

Because of this, he feels a great deal of survivor's guilt. When asked to describe the evening, Chase only has a few images, which are all frightening. No matter how hard he tries or how nice Angela's then-boyfriend Kevin is to him, he can't seem to put all the pieces together.

In the weeks after the accident, he begins to hear voices that tell him to hurt, even kill himself. During the run of a school production of Godspell, Chase gives in to the voices and is sent to the hospital for two months.

Now that Chase is back in school, he has a lot of stress to deal with. Kevin's wrestling teammates harass him. He can't find the joy in acting that he used to have. And his ignorant, self-absorbed parents would freak if they knew that older brother Ben, barely out of jail, was visiting Chase.

The one person whom Chase can always rely on is Dr. Braun, who is fascinated by Chase's recurring dreams of Ben's jump from a roof. Believing that these sequences are tied to a larger memory, one so terrible that Chase must recall the event only in fragments, she encourages him to speak the truth about his scars.

This is a book you'll want to read twice --- once for the story and once more to discover the meaning behind the clues that author Jeffry W. Johnston leaves for the reader regarding Chase's splintered memory. Even though you may get an idea early on that all is not right with Chase's mind and family, you'll still want to brace yourself for the shocking ending. This portrait of trauma is also a look at the power of trust, both when it is kept and violated.


Reviewed by Carlie Webber on October 18, 2011

by Jeffry W. Johnston

  • Publication Date: January 9, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • ISBN-10: 1416924868
  • ISBN-13: 9781416924869