Book Review: Dead to You
By: Lisa McMann
Published By: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 2012
Page Count: 243
Source: Purchased by the Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
I read this one in a single sitting; it took me just under 3 hours. I really like Lisa McMann's YA writing. She has a very clean style: minimum fuss descriptions. It probably isn't for everyone but I do enjoy that. She also writes delicious kissing scenes. *sigh*
This book is the story of Ethan, a boy who returns to the family that he was abducted from after 9 years away from them. It is very psychological... Ethan has many issues in coping with a return to family life, when the only life he can remember is one filled with neglect and hardship. He struggles with some really interesting reactions to stress, which has me wanting to do a little research and see if that truly happens to people sometimes.
Ethan's family also struggle with readjusting; his younger brother can't deal with what happened and becomes obsessed by the idea that Ethan isn't Ethan at all. His parents clearly still suffer from terrible anxiety about abduction because they monitor their three children minute by minute and freak out if they are late. Ethan's only solace come from his old best friend, Cami, who lives four doors away. She listens to him without judgement, reassures him when he falls apart, and gives him something else to think about besides his home life. Ethan behaves in a bizarre falsely-confident manner with her, which I found really interesting to read... it seemed very authentic to me. The only thing I would flag up about this book is that Ethan knows & uses some pretty strong language, which would make this unsuitable for younger readers.
Overall, I am impressed with this read. It really committed to the 'follow through'. I can't be more clear on that without spoiling the plot, so I'm going to remain cryptic. Suffice it to say, I am desperate to talk about this book with someone who has also read it!!
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...