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Desert Blood 10pm/9c
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Desert Blood 10pm/9c

by Ronald Cree, Michael Frost
 

When Gus González is adopted by TV star Nicholas Hernandez, he's swept into a glamorous world of fast cars, expensive toys, and hot celebrities. With Nick playing the real-life role of his new dad, Gus has got it made.

But life in the limelight is hard -- the tabloids harass Nick and Gus, questioning their relationship, and the two start to receive threats.

Overview

When Gus González is adopted by TV star Nicholas Hernandez, he's swept into a glamorous world of fast cars, expensive toys, and hot celebrities. With Nick playing the real-life role of his new dad, Gus has got it made.

But life in the limelight is hard -- the tabloids harass Nick and Gus, questioning their relationship, and the two start to receive threats. When Gus narrowly escapes an attacker and people start disappearing, the race is on to figure out who has it in for Nick and Gus. And why.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Cree provides a welcome respite from more cookie-cutter styles of storytelling. Gus Gonzales, a fourteen-year-old orphan, is settling into life as the newly adopted son of hot young television star Nicholas Hernandez. A life of fame is not all it's cracked up to be-the cute girl at school has a crush on Nick, the tabloids are having a field day speculating on the Michael Jackson-ish possibilities of Nick and Gus's relationship, and to top it all off, someone is out to get them. Gus and Nick are still trying to settle into their new relationship as father and son, and this situation is not going to help. Worse, the mystery ties in to a dark secret from Nick's past, linked to Gus, and it might change everything for everybody involved. Because Nick and Gus are essentially at odds with and feeling out each other the entire time, it is difficult to get anything out of their relationship other than awkwardness, which aids the story but does not really allow for much depth. Thank goodness for Gus's best friend, Lalo, who is constantly pestering Nick into giving him a role on his show and who provides a bit of spark to two otherwise cardboard figures. But Cree fashions a welcoming world into which one can easily get sucked, brilliantly blending the thriller-mystery with current elements of popular culture that are all the rage, like an all-access glance deep inside the personal life of a TV megastar. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2006, Simon Pulse/S &S, 320p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to Adult.
—Matthew Weaver
Children's Literature
Gus Gonzalez's world changed when he was adopted by TV star Nicholas Hernandez. Even though they face some awful tabloid accusations about their relationship, the two of them settle into their life together happily. Then Nick receives a letter threatening Gus. People around Gus start being attacked or disappearing. Gus has to figure out who wants to hurt him and, more importantly, why. As more clues surface, Gus begins to wonder just why Nick decided to adopt him. While the mystery keeps the reader turning the pages, the novel as a whole falls flat. Many of the characters that the reader is supposed to like are annoying (Gus's best friend, Lalo, is a prime example). Gus himself is a very generic teenager, especially for a child who spent the majority of his life in an orphanage. While mystery novels sometimes require suspension of disbelief, this one at times descends into the truly ridiculous. A very quick and easily forgettable read. 2006, Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, Ages 10 up.
—Amie Rose Rotruck
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-When Gus Gonzalez was 12, he was adopted by television star Nick Hernandez, age 26 and single. Now Gus is 14, Nick's cop character is wildly popular, and it seems that everyone in rural Palmdale, CA, and in the media feels free to cast aspersions on Nick and Gus's relationship. This novel is so littered with coincidences and mean and nasty people that it becomes difficult to care about any of the characters. Someone is sending threatening messages written on photos from tabloid newspapers to Nick, who doesn't tell Gus. The teen comes home from school one day to find a knife-wielding intruder. Gus and Nick, along with a couple of teenage boys, are nearly run off the road en route to a casting call in the desert. There, Nick's agent makes rude remarks about Gus right to his face. Then, numerous boys are bloodied and another disappears. Gus jumps aboard a slow-moving freight train to track down the missing boy but he winds up bound and held captive in a motel. Eventually, Nick reveals his motivation for adopting Gus in the first place and it's no more credible than the previous list of misadventures.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416911562
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Publication date:
01/28/2005
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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