Details: Product Description
"This book will seem fresh to new readers for decades to come." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Family secrets turn deadly in this edgy page-turner about the insidious limits of labels and the ties that bind just a little too tightly, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.
Growing up, Adrien and his sister, Grace, competed viciously for everything. It wasn’t easy being the adopted sibling, but Adrien tried to get along; it was Grace who didn’t want anything to do with him. When their scientist parents died in a terrible lab fire, there was nothing left to hold them together.
Now, after years apart, Adrien and Grace are forced to reunite at the elite boarding school where their parents were teachers. Being back around everyone he used to know makes Adrien question the person he’s become, while being back around Grace makes him feel like someone he doesn’t want to be.
For as much as Adrien wants to move on, someone seems determined to reopen old wounds. And when Adrien starts to suspect that Grace knows more about their parents’ deaths than she let on, he realizes there are some wounds no amount of time can heal. If Adrien isn’t careful, they may even kill him.
From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-When Adrien Dane's adoptive parents are killed in a science lab explosion, he elects to spend his high school years at a San Diego boarding school, far away from his hateful sister, Grace. Returning home at the request of his dying godfather, Viktor, Adrien agrees to finish his senior year at his old school. He promises Viktor and his partner, Julian, that he will bury the hatchet with his sister-but it is easier said than done. Adrien receives mysterious text messages warning about Grace's involvement in their late father's research and complicity in the deadly explosion. Suspense builds, as Grace's vitriolic behavior intensifies. Adrien suffers an attack by bullies and nearly dies in a sabotaged chemistry experiment. The plot is linear and slow to develop, until the dramatic ending, in which a murderer comes forth and a dark family secret is revealed. Leading up to this, readers will be absorbed by large doses of teen angst, the boarding school scene, and Adrien's acknowledgement of his sexual preferences. While Adrien's family members seem a bit wooden, his new roomie Quinn; an old friend, Josh; and his enigmatic lab partner, Caroline, are more layered and contribute to Adrien's development as an empathetic coming-of-age character. VERDICT The conflicted and angsty teen is far more interesting than the unconvincing murder mystery.-Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortlandα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“The characters are richly wrought but broad enough to not be pinned into one era, which means this book will seem fresh to new readers for decades to come...[A] rich, authentic read.” (
Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Happily, Brewer does a fine job handling these uncertainties and at the same time ratcheting up suspense as the mystery of the parents’ deaths deepens.” (
“Brewer threads his story with dramatic high points--explosive science projects, a poignant memory key to the sibling’s animosity--as well as thoughtful explorations of sexuality” (
About the Author
Zac Brewer grew up on a diet of The Twilight Zone and books by Stephen King. He chased them down with every drop of horror he could find—in books, in movie theaters, and on television. The most delicious parts of his banquet, however, he found lurking in the shadowed corners of his dark imagination. When he’s not writing books, he’s skittering down your wall and lurking underneath your bed. Zac doesn’t believe in happy endings . . . unless they involve blood. He lives in Missouri with his husband and two children. Visit Zac at www.zacbrewer.com.