Brent Runyon, Author Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $18.99 (196p) ISBN 978-0-375-93543-5
Less intense but just as candid as his debut The Burn Journals, Runyon's sensitively wrought novel explores a high-school student coming to terms with his older brother's death. Through Brian's first-person narrative, the author demonstrates how Brian's life has been rocked by the tragedy, beginning with his move to a new house and school, where no one knows that his family has suffered a loss. The protagonist's attitude towards teachers, classes and students reveals a lack of emotional commitment and bottled-up anger, which only begins to surface after he joins a theater group and lands a part in a play. Sean does not speak outwardly about his grief (details about his brother's car accident are not revealed until the end of the book), but readers will sense his emptiness at school and at home, where his parents continue their lives as though everything were normal. Sean's first attempt to confess his loss (which occurs right after he loses his virginity) causes him more pain than relief but signifies a turning point in his healing process. Brian's intimate, often humorous narrative exposes his overactive sexual drive, his impressions of people, and his day-to-day frustrations, which will quickly draw teens into the story and entice them to read between the lines to understand Brian's underlying sorrow. Ages 14-up.(Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 135 pages - 978-0-375-84993-0
Paperback - 196 pages - 978-0-553-49508-9
Hardcover - 196 pages - 978-0-375-83543-8
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