Dead to You

( 71 )

Overview

A page-turning realistic novel with a shocking twist from bestselling author Lisa McMann.

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...

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Dead to You

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Overview

A page-turning realistic novel with a shocking twist from bestselling author Lisa McMann.

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...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This intriguing but slight character study is built around the first-person account of a teenager returning to his family nine years after strangers lured him into the backseat of a car and drove away. It’s emotionally rich territory, but the setup is highly improbable. Authorities reunite 16-year-old Ethan De Wilde with his family mere hours after he makes his claim, forgoing background and DNA checks. Ethan is enrolled in school the following week without placement testing or counseling. Presumably, McMann (Cryer’s Cross) has confirmed that such casual handling of a victimized family is possible, but the impression remains that the unlikely scenario has been created to suit her plot twists. Ethan’s voice is convincing, even compelling at times, but too many opportunities arise over the course of the novel for readers to notice what McMann is not letting Ethan say. In a work of short fiction, these elements could have succeeded or been ignored. As is, though, the ending feels a bit deceptive. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“ McMann’s narrative is layered and emotional, with constant questions about family dynamics, identity and reconciliation. While an amnesia-based plot risks a quick foray into formula, this resists, balancing the fractured nature of Ethan’s recollections nicely with the character's development. The sibling rivalry builds secondary tension and suspense.”
—Kirkus Reviews

"The bitter cold of a Minnesota winter serves as both metaphor and backdrop for a riveting read that is like the dark side of Caroline B. Cooney’s The Face on the Milk Carton. A realistic but shocking ending makes this an excellent choice for book discussion, and the simple sentence structure and complex content will appeal to reluctant readers." —Booklist

"McMann's gripping new novel...will leave readers burning for closure long after its chilling ending.... [Her] succinct first-person narrative skillfully carries the authenticity of a teenage boy, his fractured memory and reintegration into a family who expects much from him, despite his scarring childhood. Her exploration of an abductee psyche is both illuminating and unsettling and is realistically portrayed... With a disturbing and raw ending, Dead to You is unforgettable." —Adam Silvera, Books of Wonder

"The dynamics are credible and compelling, and Ethan’s challenge in negotiating the complicated territory will ring true..." —BCCB

"Ethan’s first-person story...successfully explores the emotional devastation on those closest to an abducted child and a child’s ability to cope with trauma. The long-awaited but abrupt conclusion to the story’s central mystery is dramatic, packing an emotional punch." —School Library Journal

"Author Lisa McMann has written strong suspense fiction for teens with powerful, likable characters, and DEAD TO YOU is no exception. She includes many surprise twists in this engrossing page turner while creating a layered situation where it’s possible to sympathize with many points of view." —teenreads.com

VOYA - Blake Norby
Ethan De Wilde is sixteen and returning home after being abducted from his front yard when he was seven years old. Ethan is welcomed back into his family by his parents, but his younger brother, Blake, and sister, Gracie, who he dubs "the replacement child" because she was born after he was taken, are more timid and suspicious of him. He finds himself feeling like an outsider in his home and at school as he tries to fit in and flirt with his childhood sweetheart. The hardest part is not being able to remember his past before he was taken by Ellen, and he must persevere to learn who his family is and who he is, even though the answer is devastating. McMann combines psychology and drama in this heart-wrenching story of a lost boy trying to find his way home. Ethan's voice is completely believable as a teenage boy searching for where he fits in. The reader is truly able to appreciate his inner conflict of accepting his new role as a son and brother while still feeling devoted to his kidnapper. This is a story-driven book with a compelling plot that will keep readers turning the pages for more. A broad young adult audience will find the story compelling and relate to Ethan's feelings of being an outsider, and fans of McMann's Wake trilogy will not be disappointed in her latest novel. This book will be a provocative addition to any teen library. Reviewer: Blake Norby
Kirkus Reviews
Nine years have passed since Ethan Manuel de Wilde stepped into a stranger's car and disappeared. Now 16 and restored to his family, Ethan begins to settle down into this new life. His brother only vaguely remembers the day of the abduction, and his parents had a new child shortly after he vanished. There are some gaps in his memory, of course, but Ethan reconnects with his childhood best friend and new crush, Cami, and adapts to school. But when his younger brother Blake starts obsessing over Ethan's flawed memories, Ethan's facade of normality cracks, and he starts to look for a way out. McMann's narrative is layered and emotional, with constant questions about family dynamics, identity and reconciliation. While an amnesia-based plot risks a quick foray into formula, this resists, balancing the fractured nature of Ethan's recollections nicely with the character's development. The sibling rivalry builds secondary tension and suspense, especially as more and more gaps appear in Ethan's anecdotes. While the romance between Ethan and Cami is a bit forced, the love between Ethan and his little sister Gracie is genuinely touching. An updated abduction novel for a generation that has never seen a missing child's face on a milk carton. (Suspense. 13 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Seven-year-old Ethan was abducted from his front yard while playing with his little brother. Now he's 16 and miraculously returns to his family. He can recall very little about his life before the abduction, and struggles to transition back into a "normal" family routine. He has to learn how to live with a family he doesn't know and is faced with interviews from the press, meeting relatives he can't remember, and the angst of going back to school. When his brother is assigned a school project on genetics, a difference between them is revealed and suspicions arise about Ethan's heritage. A romance with Cami, Ethan's best friend from before the abduction, offers additional appeal for teens. Realistic and at times raw, Lisa McMann's novel (Simon Pulse, 2012) sheds some light on a topic too often in the news today. Aaron Tveit provides a believable performance, drawing listeners into this suspenseful story and its shocking conclusion.—Lyn Gebhard, Sparta Public Library, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442403888
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 2/7/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 309,825
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Lexile: HL620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa McMann

Lisa McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of Cryer’s Cross and of the Wake trilogy (Wake, Fade, and Gone). She is also the author of the middle-grade fantasy series The Unwanteds. She grew up in Michigan and lives in the Phoenix area with her husband and two kids. Visit her at LisaMcMann.com, and be her friend on Facebook or Twitter.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 2

I take a deep breath, hold it, and force myself to step out from under the awning into the yellow light. Walk toward them. Mama sees me, and her mittened hand clutches her coat where it opens at her neck. As I approach, I can see her eyes shining above deep gray semicircles, and I can tell she’s not sure—I’m not seven anymore. Her lips part and I imagine she gasps a bit. Then Dad, Blake, and finally Gracie, the replacement child, stare with doubting eyes, taking me in.

I open my mouth to say something, but I don’t know what to say. It’s almost like the cold sweat in the small of my back, in my armpits, freezes me in place.

Mama takes Dad’s arm and they stumble over to me while the two children hang back. And then they’re right in front of me, and I’m looking into Mama’s eyes.

“Ethan?” she says within a visible exhaled breath that envelopes me, then dissipates. She touches my hair, my cheek. Her breath smells like spearmint, and her eyes fill up with tears. Her skin is darker, and she’s rounder, shorter than I expected. A lot shorter than me. I stand almost even with my dad, which feels right. Like I belong with this group of people.

I’m surprised to find tears welling in my own eyes. I haven’t cried in a while, but it feels good to be with them. All at once, I feel wanted.

“It’s really you,” she says, wonder in her voice. She throws herself at me, sobs into my neck, and I close my eyes and hold her and let out a breath.

“Mama,” I whisper into her soft hair. I am at once sixteen, my actual age, and seven, the age they remember me. We are long-lost souls, a mother reuniting with her semi-prodigal son. It is the end of one story and the beginning of the next.

Being near her makes my teeth stop chattering.

© 2012 Lisa McMann

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 71 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    DEAD TO YOU left me breathless.

    What would it be like to be kidnapped as a child and then find your way back to your family almost a decade later with no memories of them or your life before? McMann explores this and the raw emotions of a teen who suffered abuse and neglect before being dumped at a group home by his so-called caretaker. DEAD TO YOU is a raw, emotional and even sexy story about a boy in turmoil, and has such vivid and heartbreaking characters that I couldn't put it down until the very end that left me completely breathless. Also, I have to say that I loved Gracie so much-probably more than I've ever loved any secondary character before. She provided some much-needed relief when the story kept ratcheting up the tension and suspense. Great job - another winner from Lisa McMann.

    16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Great book

    Its a fantastic book. I finished it in about an hour because it was soo good. BUT, it seems like she got bored of writing it and just stopped the ending came in a chapter and it definitely fits the "cliffhanger" definition. She needs to either make a sequel SOON or publish and ending because the end ruined the book for me.
    -M

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Dead To You

    After being abducted at a young age Ethan returns to a family and a town he does not remember. To most its a miricle for his return, to others its impossible. The book was very amazing in the way the main character is very transparent and you can feels he's pain and struggle of his life under the care of his abductor who abandoned him and returning home.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Ahhhhggggg!!!!

    Ok so i am reading thesample and i like hey this looks like a good bk. thenafter i start reading the reviews and i see a couple of reviews commenting on how the ending sucked. But being the idiot iam i decided to read the book anyway. And so i am reading it and it isreally good. It had depth, good characters, and an incredible story line. But then the auther decids to just end the bk all of a sudden just wen it was getting good. Rite in the climax of the fricking book!!!!!! So for the people who want to read it and decide to ignore the reviews just be prepared for the aweful ending.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    hey i like it all together it was good...... but the end i found

    hey i like it all together it was good...... but the end i found kind of predictable but then i find that happening alot more often the more i read i do not think reading this was a wasist or any thing it was really good :D. the way the brothers act reminded me of my brother and me or what i wish i could some times do to him XD but i will digress...... i loved the book though i would have the ending to be a little less predictable :D her other serious was great though :D

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Woah!!!

    It was sooooooo good but it needs closure!!!!!!! There DEFINATELY needs to be a sequal!!! I loved vit though!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I read this in a day. Simply couldn't put it down. BUT WHERE I

    I read this in a day. Simply couldn't put it down. BUT WHERE IS THE ENDING?!?!?!??!?!?!?! So upsetting! There better be a 2nd one!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    This is probably my least favorite books. I felt like the chara

    This is probably my least favorite books.
    I felt like the characters were boring and it was widely unrealistic. There is such a low chance that a family would just let a kid move in with out getting a blood test to make sure it was their kid. Even if they were pretty sure it was him they should have at leased, especially when his brother was so sure it wasn't him. The book also ended in a very unrealistic way he would not just leave! I was excited to read this because the thought of this actually happening and what it would be like sounds really emotional and interesting but this really let me down.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    This was the first novel of Lisa McMann's that I read. It was a

    This was the first novel of Lisa McMann's that I read. It was a quick read that I finished in one evening. However, the novel is filled with one-dimensional characters, an endless paradigm of this kid's school day and evening, and improbable events. The author showed a characteristically bad writing style as she ended the book in a hurry, leaving the reader thoroughly unsatisfied. It is understood that this book is improbable, but aside from that, the ending was silly and was a final slap in the face. I definitely will not recommend this novel to anyone nor will I read anything else by this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    I Wouldn't Recommend It

    This is the first of Lisa McMann's books I have read, and will likely be the last. I'm all for realistic stories and surprise endings, but most of the time when an author chooses to do one or both, the reader still gets a since of closure when the book is done. Not so in this tale!

    Basically, the same thing happens over and over again, convincing you that it is leading somewhere, and then...just kidding! The only thing the reader is left with is a, "You've got to be joking," at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    EMOTIONAL, BEAUTIFUL & SHOCKING

    one of the best books ive ever read! so sad and beautiful... the ending was just so heart breaking, defentally worth the money and time to read this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Anonymous

    This book is so emotional and i think it need a sequel because the end is a cliffhanger.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    I did not like this book at all. I was easily bored by the midd

    I did not like this book at all. I was easily bored by the middle of the book and by the time it picked up, it was almost finished. The ending was pointless and just left you wondering why you even bothered to read it. I would not recommend this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Diane

    Really enjoyed this book. Read the Wake Series and wanted more. Being a Mom of 5 boys I could feel the hope and joy the Mom felt and then the heartbreak and devastation. Excellent writing!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2014

    Surprise twist!

    I loved this book I just didn't like the ending because I thought it left you on a really big cliff hanger. I really, really liked this book though. I think it should of had at least a epoilogue. I also read the Unwanteds series so I decided to read this and it was really good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2014

    Read it in 2 hours!

    I love this book no matter what yall say. I wouldnt want anyone who has anger problems reading it. She is a great author. You just havnt found the book by her. You cant read one book of hers and hate the author. Yeah the ending wasnt good but it still made you think. It made you feel and itt kinda taught a lesson. Most people take everything for granted. Yet how would you feel if you were like him. Having no idea who this people are. Not fitting in no matter what you do? Some people have good mothers and fathers who care about them but the kids hate that. But some kids arent that lucky, they might have parents that dont care about them. Why dont yall write something and put it online? See how people thing of it.
    Some kids might come from abuseive familys but kids that have good homes take of this for granted

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 17, 2014

    I read Wake by Lisa McMann and knew that I had to read more by t

    I read Wake by Lisa McMann and knew that I had to read more by this author. Dead To You was everything I expected plus a little more. 




    Plot: Dead To You has been on my TBR list for the longest time and I FINALLY got a chance to read it! This fast-paced mystery is told from the POV of Ethan, a boy who was abducted from his front lawn ten years ago. What starts off as a beautiful tale of reunion, expands to what happens AFTER a child has been returned home. The awkwardness of trying to find your place in a family that has tried to go on, returning to school and seeing old school friends. The novel also has a mystery regarding WHO took Ethan and for what purpose. I was engaged and managed to eat this one up in a day (it's a short read). The "conclusion" was very open-ended which was very unsettling, in a good way. 




    Characters: The mystery is told through Ethan's POV which brings the reader even closer to the mystery. Ethan seems so broken and vulnerable given his past experience and I sympathized with him until the very end. Since Ethan is a teenage boy with hormone, he pretty much falls victim to insta-lust with the first female character he meets and they go on to have a fast-paced relationship. Normally, this would bother me, but since everything else in this novel was fast-paced, it was only natural that the "lust story" be fast paced as well.




    World Building: There isn't much to the world building in Dead To You. The story goes from home, to school, to the park, to home again. The feeling was your average small-town USA with Ethan being the resident outsider. 




    Short N Sweet: Dead To You is a book-clutching romance that will tug at your heart and keep you guessing until the very end. I recommend it for all fans of the mystery genre! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Okay

    The book was good until the end. Left too many questions and practically flipped off the reader. Wish I could get my money back

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2013

    Words can't describe this book, its a MUST read!

    Words can't describe this book, its a MUST read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Really good

    I really got on to the book with the emotional twists and turns. I loved the ending i just wished she would make a second one so we could see what happened to the character i came to love.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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