The Best Reader + TIME

Dead to You — Lisa McMann

"This is definitely a 'Sorry, I can't hang out because I'm reading' book." — Miss Remmers

Release Date: February 7th, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Simon Pulse
Challenges: 75+ Challenge

"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... "
Okay, can I just say — WOW! A relatively short book (less than 300 pages) that had me from the first page. But this isn't a new thing for me. Lisa McMann and I have an ever growing relationship where she hooks my interest from the first page, first paragraph, first line. I still think this has something to do with the short and to the point sentences — but anyway, the first thing you need to know about this novel is that it's awesome.

Quick things: "Mama" drives me crazy — why would a sixteen year old call his mother "Mama"! I don't get that. Also, Ethan does this hysterical laugh thing that is super weird. I understand traumatic influences etc etc — but there were whole paragraphs describing his break down. Finally, Gracie was the most adorable thing EVER!

Okay, now that I got those things out of the way — let me just say, this book is made of awesome (oh, wait, did I already say that?). Well, believe it! Like I mentioned, it does hold true to McMann's writing style in that the sentences are choppy and short — but, for me, I find it refreshingly different and captivating. I enjoyed Ethan's character and I felt so bad for everyone involved.

Do you remember that movie "The Deep End of the Ocean" with Michelle Pfeiffer, Ryan Merriman, and Jonathan Jackson (swoon) from 1999? Where the son gets kidnapped while the mom and family are at a high school reunion and then they reconnect years later and the boy has a hard time fitting in with the family? I swear I have a point.

This book is just like that. Except different.

I will say the "twist" at the end had me exploding on Twitter asking if this was a series or a standalone (any one know?). I don't want to say anything more — but let me just say, I didn't see that coming (although I knew something was up). Those last couple pages, my heart just stopped, I couldn't breathe, and I couldn't read fast enough. This is, yet again, another book by Lisa McMann that leaves me waiting for more (whether in the form of a second installment of her next book in general).

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To the FTC, with love: ARC received from Publisher

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Dead to You — Lisa McMann + TIME