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Author: Swati Avasthi
ISBN 13: 9780375863400
ISBN 10: 375863400
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2010-03-09
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
List Price: $16.99

Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father's fist), $3.84, and a secret.

He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can't make him forget what he left behind--his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.

At least so far.

Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. First-time novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you've said enough, after you've run, after you've made the split--how do you begin to live again? Readers won't be able to put this intense page-turner down.

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly

This powerful, never maudlin debut paints a visceral portrait of a 16-year-old on the run from an abusive father. After being kicked out of his family’s house in Chicago, Jace flees to his estranged older brother Christian’s apartment in Albuquerque, N.Mex., but starting over isn’t easy. An array of expected emotions surface, from Jace’s hatred toward his father, to hope that his mother will leave her abusive marriage, and resentment over Christian’s having abandoned the family years earlier. But it’s the less anticipated side of Jace—gradually revealed over the course of the novel—that makes this story so gripping and heartbreaking. He still loves his father despite the terrifying abuse his family has suffered and is ashamed of his own violent tendencies; ... . When Jace finally turns his back on his past to forge a new future, readers will fully understand the difficulty of the decision. As Avasthi demonstrates, leaving a bad situation and forgiving those responsible is easier said than done. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)