Author: Lisa McMann
Release Date: February 7th, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: For Review
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..
Dead To You is about a boy named Ethan who was abducted when he was seven years old and then returns to his family as a sixteen year old boy to find out that he doesn't remember anything about his past or his family. Now Ethan has to not only find himself again, but reconnect with the life he left behind when a women called Ellen took him for her own AND convince his younger brother, who hates not being the center of attention, that he really is, in fact, Ethan.
I encountered the same problem I always do with McMann's story where I'm like: SO INTENSE. The story just keeps building and building and the stakes are raised and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time because I was dying to know if Ethan was ever going to remember and just...find out more about his life before he found his family. But then the problem comes in: the short-ness and the writing.
Now I love me some short books. I usually read HUGE books (it's an addiction of mine) so i'm glad to sit down every once in a while BUT GAH. I want to know more! I wanted to know more about Ethan's past and his time with Ellen and his relationship with Cami to develop more and JUST EVERYTHING. And then there's the fact that I feel her writing is very choppy and doesn't flow (and not in a Shatter Me Choppy way, which is awesome) and i've seen this in both Dead To You and the Wake series so I know it's her way of writing character's voices but it just pulls me out of the story so much and not a fan.
Ethan is a complex character in and of himself. He's desperate, lonely, and maybe even a little bit crazy. I wish I could've seen his character develop more and come into himself but again, the short problem. Gracie had to be my favorite character because she was lovable and understanding and she was just a little girl! That innocence really contrasted against Ethan's stark and raw narrative. Blake was a total douche bag and urgh... every time he was punched, he so deserved it.
AND DEAR GOD, IS IT A STAND-ALONE? Because with that ending, it should be a crime to leave it at a stand-alone. First I get a super skinny book and then you stick that kind of ending and that last line and why, Lisa? Why would you do that to me? Jeez!