Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Dead to You by Lisa McMann

Title: Dead to You
Author: Lisa McMann
Series: None
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 7, 2012
ISBN13: 9781442403888
Format: hardcover
Genre: YA, thriller, contemporary
Source: borrowed from library
Some memories are better left untouched.

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, and his family starts falling 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 . . .
Dead to You starts off with our protagonist, Ethan, returning to his parents. Obviously Ethan's family should be ecstatic, and though they are very glad their brother or son is returned, they don't know what to deal with a sixteen-year-old boy who can't remember anything from before he got kidnapped and after. His mother, who loves him, seemed like she only did it because she was supposed to be a caring mother who never questions her love for her son. His father the same. His brother, Blake, is at first very wary of him and doesn't know what to do. The only person who seems to be able to completely love him, no questions asked, is Gracie, his little sister who wasn't born until after the kidnapping.

This book is undoubtedly a psychological thriller. Everything seemed perfect near the surface, but you can see those cracks around the edges and can't help but wonder what on earth is wrong. There are only a few short moments to doubt that perfect image. It was great because of the fantastically written atmosphere that made shivers work its way down your spine.The plot, to me, didn't have a ton of things that was particularly memorable, but it wasn't what I'd point out as outstanding in the story. The end took me a couple minutes and many, many re-readings in order for me to fully understand what had happened. That major plot twist was mind-boggling, screwed up, and definitely not a mediocre work.

Ethan is a complex, confused character who genuinely doesn't know what the heck he is. Ethan has basically no memory, so in a sense he's like a newborn in unfamiliar territory. He's so desperate for approval that he has to fake understanding whatever his family was talking about to fit in and be the Ethan they want him to be. While we usually have more of a clear understanding of a character after getting to know them in the story, Ethan only has more secrets about him pop up to me, and was a very intriguing teenager to read about.

Conclusion? I don't know what to say. This is not a happily-ever-after-story. This messes with your head, heart and just, to be frank, completely screws you over. I thought it was fantastic, but read it at your own risk. O_O
In Too Deep by Amanda Grace
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