No matter how many times Kyle rewrites the scene, he can't get it right. He tries it in the style of Hitchcock, Tarantino, Eastwood, all of his favorite directors—but regardless of the style, he can't remember what happened that day in the shed. The day Jason died. And until he can, there is one question that keeps haunting Kyle: Did he kill his best friend on purpose?
The Elliott Review:
I loved reading this book from start to finish. It was a good break from all the fantasy I've been reading. The realism stood out to me - the almost stream-of-consciousness the book hits on at times. This made it very moving and gripping to read. What also engaged me were the subtle metaphors using simple, everday objects as vehicles of greater meaning. They tie a lot of thematic elements together, conveying the emotions that Kyle can't feel. Also, Kyle's darkish, wry sense of humor in the face of his issues is notable.
Kyle's character seems to be a very real fifteen-year-old boy which is pretty awesome when you stop to think that his perspective is written by a woman. He has deep emotions about what happened in the shed, though he can't recall everything. His brain is protecting him from what he doesn't want to think about, and one thing I love is that he doesn't just open up about his feelings to everyone around him. It's like he can't get the most important words out of his mouth. I think that's yet another part of what makes it so real, though it's heart-rending to see that he needs some source of comfort and direction but can't access it without the right words. As an educator, I see this a lot in students, and this serves as a good reminder.
One favorite, favorite thing in this book is the character of Kyle's school librarian - Mr. Cordoba. He's suspected of being in the mafia or to have some other dark, hidden past. Kyle gets past being afraid of him as they sparsely discuss books with the greater subtext of what's going on in Kyle's mind in regards to what happened. I love seeing a librarian as a main character, especially one who's so well-written and important to the story!
Also available by this author: Compromised, about a runaway teen