by J.L. Powers
Two guys. Classmates, enemies. Each reacts to the other on impact–knows just where to jab, then twist the verbal knife.
Big Fight. Friends and Enemies all on hand to watch and take sides. One ends up in the hospital with a broken arm and a fractured ego. Hours later, the other ends up dead.
And in the reverb, seven guys are forced to face who they, and their friends, really are.
After all, everybody’s guilty of something, right?
“Powers’s first novel powerfully combines timely story lines regarding illegal immigration, school violence, and racial tension….The structure Powers builds is ambitious, and she manipulates it for maximum surprise.” — Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“Powers confronts issues of anti-immigrant prejudice and antiterrorist hysteria with brutal honesty, describing a world not often depicted in literature for young people.” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Readers…will appreciate Powers’s approach to the psychology of school violence, and fans of books with multiple narrators will be fascinated by the differences in each character’s experience of the same event.” –Voice of Youth Advocates
“The six distinct voices used to examine the tension between adopted country and ethnic pride rarely falter; the fast pace of events ensure the narrative remains compelling. Convincing friendships and feuds create a sense of the long-standing relationships between classmates and reflect the transitive nature of the high-school social structure.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Teens will see themselves in these realistic characters, each struggling with unique challenges….The residual effects of religion, immigration, and dysfunctional fathers crowd these boys’ minds….These characters will reach mature teens eager to hear their own preoccupations echoed and, perhaps, clarified. They might also notice how this distinctly modern vision of adolescence morphs silkily into a clever noir adaptation….Murder, mystery, and detection pulse through this complex book, keeping readers feverishly wondering who done it and why.” –School Library Journal