Children's Literature - Danielle Williams
One of the most difficult things to realize at any age is that each person's life touches many others, both in negative and positive ways. For Logan, that realization comes too late. Upon his death, Logan learns that each person is given five options for exiting their life. Logan had agreed to take the more difficult course and exit after a long life spent with those he loved. But when exit point two arrives, Logan takes it, leaving his family mourning and his sister in danger. But because Logan has affected others' lives in positive ways, he is allowed an opportunity to correct a wrong that his early death set in motion. Saving his little sister from the uncle who is molesting her is not an easy task, but Logan's guides and his own love and devotion to his family aide him and allow his spirit to finally find peace when he has set the wheels of discovery in motion. This brief novel is an interesting look at how people can affect change, and how seemingly little actions can influence the lives of others in positive or negative ways.
VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Sixteen-year-old Logan wakes up dead in Exit Point. In spirit form, he attends his funeral, learns that his little sister is being molested, and develops a plan to save her before he must move on forever. The small, large-print paperback books in the Orca Soundings series use simple vocabulary and short sentences combined with lots of authentic dialogue and engrossing subject matter, making them ideal for high-interest, low-reading-level collections. The authors are not afraid of controversial language or material, which is in large part the secret of the series' appeal. Open endings lend to discussion and further exploration. These little novels with their colorful covers are sure to be a hit.
KLIATT - Amanda MacGregor
16-year-old Logan can hardly believe that he's dead. He looks the same, has thoughts and feelings, and can see everything and everyone around him. But there's no denying it after he witnesses his own funeral: Logan died in a car accident and has moved on. More accurately, he is in the process of moving on. Before Logan can do so, he has some unfinished business to attend to. Langston presents the reader with the intriguing idea that Logan himself chose an early exit pointdying in a car accident at 16rather than the one intended for himdying at age 77 by choking on a grape. Logan's early death has altered the lives of everyone he loves. Thanks to some savvy bargaining by his Gran (also dead), Logan is allowed to stick around and see how his absence will affect his little sister, Amy. Gran warns Logan that someone is harming Amy. Logan discovers that she's being sexually abused and brings it to his parents' attention. This short read will quickly pull readers in with its unique premise. The notion of still playing a vital role and feeling very much alive in the afterlife is a thought-provoking concept sure to inspire much discussion. With a fast-paced plot and the constant pull of tension, Langston manages to pack a lot of action into a brief story. The hopeful ending lightens the gravity of the plot.
Ostensibly a novel about the afterlife of narrator Logan, a 16-year-old victim of a car crash, the book may interest reluctant readers with its brevity and characterization of Logan and his grandmother, whom he meets in the afterlife, younger, smoking, and gambling. She is the most well-characterized person in the book. But close readers will notice that Logan is hardly sympathetic (he died racing cars after getting drunk one night, his preferred form of recreation), and that, while the afterlife is interesting, it can conform itself to almost anything the author wants to say. The author seems torn between developing her afterlife and making Logan's presence somewhat valid, by making his younger sister the victim of sexual molestation from their uncle. The novel becomes a race to stop another evening of molestation, and when Logan has accomplished his "mission," he is allowed to continue in his movement from the stations in the afterlife to a final resting point beyond.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-In Exit Point, 16-year-old Logan died in a car wreck. As he begins to explore the afterlife, he meets up with a guide and his grandmother, who explains that he has choices now just as he did when he was alive. This includes the opportunity to help his younger sister, who is being molested by a family friend. There are consequences for him, but he realizes that saving Amy matters more than anything else. In Crush, 17-year-old Hope stays with her older sister in New York City while her parents spend the summer building a school in Thailand. She soon discovers that Joy dabbles in drugs and alcohol and has a live-in boyfriend. Hope meets up with Nat, who is a lesbian, and she is offered a position as a nanny by a lesbian couple with twins. To her surprise, she discovers that she is attracted to Nat in more than a platonic way, although whether this is just a "crush" or something more serious is not certain as the story ends. In both novels, the plot relies on everything neatly falling into place. The character development lacks subtlety although the teens do have some real issues that they are trying to solve with some reflection and honesty. With their "Dr. Phil" talk-show themes, angst-driven protagonists, and short texts, these slick novels will appeal to reluctant readers who want fast-paced escapist reads.-Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Canadian Book Review Annual
"Reading about how Logan struggles with these issues, and more, is the main pleasure of the book. Exit Point is a wonderful reading experience and Langston deserves full credit for having written such a thoughtful, and thought provoking, book."
Washington State Review Group
"Another good [title] for reluctant high school readers...Will appeal to and satisfy those who like edgier content."
Sheryl McFarlane's Blog
"Flashes of brilliant insight."
Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Books
"Wrenching issues are Orca Soundings forte as this 2.8 reading level meets struggling readers with a high-interest and attention-grabbing plot."
“An encouraging thought remains with readers: maybe it’s never too late for second chances.”
"Teens will enjoy the fast pace and realistic dialogue and exlpration of the theme of life after death. Recommended."
Read an Excerpt
“I’m not dead. I’m still me. I still have a body and everything.”
“You are still you but you don’t have a body. What you’re seeing is a thought form.” He points to a tall gold urn up by the minister. “Your body is in there. You were cremated.”
Thunk thunk, thunk thunk. My heart pounds in my chest. Dread mushrooms in my stomach. Sweat beads on my forehead. “But everybody knows death is the end. That there’s nothing left but matter.”
“Death is only the beginning, Logan. Hannah knows that. Lots of people do.”