Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2 Authors- 1 Theme: Lost Boys

Our very well read colleague, Maria, stops by today to present us with two books that, while the authors both had a very similar theme, they took it to two completely different places.

Dead to You by Lisa McMann and Double by Jenny Valentine are two examples.
In both a sixteen year old boy returns home after being missing for years.

In Dead to You, Ethan who was kidnapped when he was only seven years old is returned to his family in Minnesota.  His return, which makes his mom and dad ecstatic, causes problems for younger brother Blake who was only four when Ethan was abducted and who saw the terrible event happen.  Blake saw Ethan get into the black car with two men.  Didn’t he know better than to get in a car with strangers?  Blake blames Ethan for his parents’ change after the kidnapping.  They are not the same anymore; life is not the same at all. Ethan returns to a larger household that includes younger sister Gracie, now six, who adores Ethan.  But for Ethan there is a lot of adjusting to undertake:  to school which he hates, friends whom he doesn’t remember, to the press who are curious as to those seven missing years, but especially to brother Blake who doesn’t believe Ethan is who he says he is.    McMann has full understanding of this teen’s head as well as the adults’ perspectives and she does a wonderful job mixing suspense and real life.

In Double, sixteen year old Chap, whom social workers mistake for another missing boy, has to decide whether to go “back” the family who wants him and has been waiting for his return or to keep on running away.  He opts for family.  He returns to his village in England hoping to find the family he has always wanted.  But as the old adage says, be careful  of what you wish for.  Chap, now Cassiel Roadnight discovers a secret, a secret that may kill him.  He feels guilty for having taking Cassiel’s personality but at the same time he starts to develop real feelings for his newly found family.  We also learn about Chap’s previous life, which somewhat unrealistic is sad and touching.  There is a lot packed in this relatively short novel.  As we see Cassiel adjust to his new life, learn about his family and discover the secrets waiting for him we root for him to find a normal life.  A taught mystery, thoroughly satisfying read expertly woven by a superb author.

I loved both stories.  They were entertaining and quick reads.  Which was my favorite?  It was D…
You read them and choose!  You’ll be glad you did.

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