Born Scared

Kevin Brooks. Candlewick, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9565-1
In this gripping yet inconsistent thriller, a young man living with a severe anxiety disorder is forced out of his comfort zone when a mix-up with his medication on Christmas Eve disrupts his carefully controlled life. Afraid of almost everything and haunted by the death of his twin sister at birth, 13-year-old Elliot usually remains, by his preference, in the safety of his room, incapable of coping with the outside world even at the best of times. But when the pharmacy sends home the wrong medication, his mother ventures out into a snowstorm to remedy the problem and never returns. Desperate to find out what happened, Elliot goes after her, only to be plunged into a nightmarish world of both terror-based hallucinations and paranoia and a real-world robbery turned hostage situation that requires Elliot to tap into his darkest impulses in order to survive. The inclusion of two Santa-disguised robbers and a bank manager on a drug-fueled bender lend this story an unexpectedly off-kilter, almost comedic tone that feels at odds with Elliot’s trauma and internalized struggle. But Brooks (Five Hundred Miles) creates a compelling character in Elliot and successfully depicts a dangerous environment filtered through a profound mental illness. Ages 12–up. Agency: William Morris Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/20/2018
Release date: 09/11/2018
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4052-7619-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-978644-42-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-978644-41-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-978644-44-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-987145-33-5
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