Inexcusable
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Inexcusable

3.7 55
by Chris Lynch
     
 

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I am a good guy.

Keir Sarafian may not know much, but he knows himself. And the one thing he knows about himself is that he is a good guy. A guy who's a devoted son and brother, a loyal friend, and a reliable teammate. And maybe most important of all, a guy who understands that when a girl says no, she means it. But that is not what Gigi Boudakian, childhood

Overview

I am a good guy.

Keir Sarafian may not know much, but he knows himself. And the one thing he knows about himself is that he is a good guy. A guy who's a devoted son and brother, a loyal friend, and a reliable teammate. And maybe most important of all, a guy who understands that when a girl says no, she means it. But that is not what Gigi Boudakian, childhood friend and Keir's lifelong love, says he is. What Gigi says he is seems impossible to Keir.... It is something inexcusable -- the worst thing he can imagine, the very opposite of everything he wants to be.

As Keir recalls the events leading up to his fateful night with Gigi, he realizes that the way things look are definitely not the way they really are -- and that it may be all too easy for a good guy to do something terribly wrong.

Chris Lynch has written a no-holds-barred story about truth, lies, and responsibility -- a story that every good guy needs to hear.

Editorial Reviews

Laurie Halse Anderson
"This raw and powerful book will hammer its way into your heart and haunt you. The world needs this story. And you want to read it — trust me."
Bruce Brooks
"Chris Lynch is the best pure YA writer we have — he has the guts, he has the chops, and like his readers, he'll take a close look at anything. Inexcusable is irresistible, in its limning of the spaces between brutality and grace, between the soul and the law. Start at page one — you'll never stop."
Jack Gantos
"Inexcusable is a not-to-be-missed chapter in the anthropology of ritual male dating behavior. From the first phrase to the last phrase, Chris Lynch creates a character with such flawless self-deception that the reader mistakes being seduced with being stalked. In the end you become the books trophy, and you'll find your head mounted on the cover."
Publishers Weekly
High school senior Keir Sarafian may remind Lynch fans of Earl Pryor, the narrator of Who the Man. Though more intelligent than Earl, Keir is also an unreliable narrator, whose reporting belies to readers the unintended results of his ungainly strength and impulsive actions. As the novel opens, something horrible has happened: "The way it looks is not the way it is. Gigi Boudakian is screaming at me so fearsomely." Intervening chapters in flashback trace how Keir and Gigi, who were childhood friends, arrived at this moment, which readers soon gather is a date rape from Gigi's perspective, and a natural progression of shared intimacy from Keir's viewpoint. Lynch plunges readers into Keir's psyche in a way that makes him almost sympathetic, if frightening. On the football field earlier in the school year, Keir tackled a receiver and crippled him, but in his mind, he was only doing what he was trained to do (the opponents "were getting too comfortable. Too lazy, spoiled, entitled.... It is inexcusable"). Later in the novel, when he learns that his older sisters (he "talks about [them]... like [they were] angels") simply boycotted his graduation (not absent due to exams, as they had said), his world crumbles. With his portrait of Keir, Lynch makes it nearly impossible for readers to see the world in black-and-white terms. This book is guaranteed to prompt heated discussion. Ages 13-up. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
Keir, a high school senior, thinks of himself as a "good guy." So how could he possibly feel responsible when he cripples a football player on the field, earning himself the nickname "Killer"? After all, it was a perfect tackle. How could he have tormented some of the school's soccer players, kidnapping them for "a few hours of involuntary skinny-dipping," and destroyed town statues in a drunken rampage? And most of all, how could he have raped Gigi, the girl he adores, the night of their senior prom? Keir is sure he's done nothing wrong, though the wrecks he leaves in his wake indicate otherwise. This provocative tale by the author of Freewill and other YA novels would make an interesting companion piece to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, which treats rape from a teenage girl's viewpoint. Keir is a good example of an unreliable narrator, whose version of reality and sense of himself, the reader eventually comes to realize, are dangerously off base. As his sister points out, "You make things up to be what you want them to be," and his weak father lets him get away with it. Keir's spare, dramatically told cautionary tale is well worth reading. KLIATT Codes: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2005, Simon & Schuster, Atheneum, 176p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, November 2005: Keir, a high school senior, thinks of himself as a "good guy." So how could he possibly feel responsible when he cripples a football player on the field, earning himself the nickname "Killer"? After all, it was a perfect tackle. How could he have tormented some of the school's soccer players, kidnapping them for "a few hours of involuntary skinny-dipping," and destroyed town statues in a drunken rampage? And most of all, how could he have raped Gigi, the girl he adores, the night of their senior prom? Keir is sure he's done nothing wrong, though the wrecks he leaves in his wake indicate otherwise. This provocative tale by the author of Freewill and other YA novels would make an interesting companion piece to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, which treats rape from a teenage girl's viewpoint. Keir is a good example of an unreliable narrator, whose version of reality and sense of himself, the reader eventually comes to realize, are dangerously off base. As his sister points out, "You make things up to be what you want them to be," and his weak father lets him get away with it. Keir's spare, dramatically told cautionary tale is well worth reading. (An ALA Best Book for YAs and National Book Award finalist.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Keir is a senior who fancies himself a "lovable rogue." So do his widowed father, his older sisters, and his classmates. He likes being liked; he just doesn't do well with involvement. Keir would never do anything to hurt anyone intentionally-or would he? When he tackles and cripples a member of an opposing football team, it's determined to be an "accident"-one that earns him the good-humored nickname, "Killer." When he and his buddies destroy a town statue, they consider it a high-spirited, funny prank. When he gets drunk, the alcohol abuse is dismissed as "silly, harmless drinks," and drugs at parties are "strictly recreational." And when he date rapes the girl he thinks he loves, at first he convinces himself that "the way it looks is not the way it is." Keir's first-person narrative chillingly exposes the rationalization process that the troubled teen goes through to persuade himself and those around him of his innocence. Characters are clearly developed through immediately post-rape chapters that alternate with flashbacks of Keir's experiences and perceptions leading up to that point. As compelling as Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak (Farrar, 1999), though with a different point of view, this finely crafted and thought-provoking page-turner carefully conveys that it is simply inexcusable to whitewash wrongs, and that those responsible should (and hopefully will) pay the price.-Diane P. Tuccillo, City of Mesa Library, AZ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lynch has hit a homerun with this provocative, important read about Keir, a self-proclaimed "good guy" headed for college on a football scholarship. With two sisters in college, Keir lives alone with his lonely, widowed father, who treats Keir more like a buddy than a son. After Keir accidentally cripples an opponent during a football game, things really go awry, especially since his victim lets him off the hook with a letter of forgiveness. With his name cleared, his peers christen him "Killer," a nickname that seems to give him license to do all sorts of unsavory things, such as hazing classmates, vandalizing a statue, trying cocaine and ultimately, date raping Gigi Boudakian. The underage drinking and recreational drug use is handled fairly cavalierly up until the stint with cocaine, but readers will still feel uneasy as the well-crafted sequence of Keir's reckless behaviors crescendos toward a disastrous end. Keir's self-delusion, irresponsibility and sense of invincibility are dangerous, sending the important message to all teens, particularly high-school heroes and their would-be victims, that some things are inexcusable. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
"This raw and powerful book will hammer its way into your heart and haunt you. The world needs this story. And you want to read it — trust me."
— Laurie Halse Anderson, Printz Honor-Winning Author of Speak

"Chris Lynch is the best pure YA writer we have — he has the guts, he has the chops, and like his readers, he'll take a close look at anything. Inexcusable is irresistible, in its limning of the spaces between brutality and grace, between the soul and the law. Start at page one — you'll never stop."
— Bruce Brooks, Newbery Honor-Winning Author of The Moves Make the Man

"Inexcusable is a not-to-be-missed chapter in the anthropology of ritual male dating behavior. From the first phrase to the last phrase, Chris Lynch creates a character with such flawless self-deception that the reader mistakes being seduced with being stalked. In the end you become the books trophy, and you'll find your head mounted on the cover."
— Jack Gantos, Printz Honor-Winning Author of Hole In My Life

starred review Booklist
*"Expertly drawn...A nuanced, wholly believable character that will leave many readers shaking with recognition...Unforgettable."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416939726
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
05/08/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Inexcusable


By Chris Lynch

Atheneum

Copyright © 2005 Chris Lynch
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0689847890

The Way It Looks

The way it looks is not the way it is. Gigi Boudakian is screaming at me so fearsomely, I think I could just about cry. I almost don't even care what the subject is because right now I am sick and I am confused and I am laid so low by the very idea that Gigi Boudakian is screaming at me that the what-for hardly seems even to matter. I love Gigi Boudakian. I hate it when people I love scream at me.

And I don't feel guilty. That is, I don't feel like I am guilty. But I sure as hell feel sorry.

I am sorry.

I am one sorry sorry bastard. And I feel very sick.

I am so sorry.

"What are you sorry for, Keir?" Gigi screams again, grabbing me by where my lapels would be if I had a jacket on, or a shirt, or anything. She can't get a purchase because I have no clothes, and very little fat, because I have been good about my health lately. She grabs, can't grab, scratches instead at my chest, then slaps me hard across the face, first right side then left, smack, smack.

"Say what you did, Keir."

"Why is Carl coming? Why do you have to call Carl, Gigi?"

"Say what you did, Keir. Admit what you did to me."

"I didn't do anything, Gigi."

"Yes you did! I said no!"

I say this very quietly, but firmly. "You did not."

"I said no," she growls. "Say it."

"I don't see why you need Carl. You can beat me up just fine on your own. Listen, Gigi, it was nobody's fault."

"Yes it was! It was your fault. This should not have happened."

"Fine, then it didn't."

"It did, it did, it did, bastard! For me it did, and it's making me sick."

"Don't. Don't be sick. I don't want you to be sick or anything. I just want everything to be all right. Everything is all right, Gigi. Please, can everything be all right?"

"It is not all right! It is not all right, and you are not all right, Keir Sarafian. Nothing is all right. Nothing will ever again ever be all right."

She is wrong. Gigi is wrong about everything, but especially about me. You could ask pretty much anybody and they will tell you. Rock solid, Keir. Kind of guy you want behind you. Keir Sarafian, straight shooter. Loyal, polite. Funny. Good manners. He was brought up right, that boy was, is what you would hear. All the things you would want to hear said about you are the things I have always heard said about me. I am a good guy.

Good guys don't do bad things. Good guys understand that no means no, and so I could not have done this because I understand, and I love Gigi Boudakian.

"I love you, Gigi."

As I say this, Gigi Boudakian lets out the most horrific scream I have ever heard, and I am terrified by it and reach out, lunge toward her and try and cover her mouth with my hands and I fall over her and she screams louder and bites at my hands and I keep flailing, trying to stop that sound coming out of her and getting out into the world.

I am only trying to stop the sound. It looks terrible what I am doing, as I watch my hands doing it, as I watch hysterical Gigi Boudakian reacting to me, and it looks really, really terrible but I am only trying to stop the awful sound and the way it looks is not the way it is.

The way it looks is not the way it is.

Copyright 2005 by Chris Lynch



Continues...


Excerpted from Inexcusable by Chris Lynch Copyright © 2005 by Chris Lynch.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Chris Lynch is the Printz Honor Award–winning author of several highly acclaimed young adult novels, including Printz Honor Book Freewill, Iceman, Gypsy Davy, and Shadow Boxer—all ALA Best Books for Young Adults—as well as Killing Time in Crystal City, Little Blue Lies, Pieces, Kill Switch, Angry Young Man, and Inexcusable, which was a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of six starred reviews. He holds an MA from the writing program at Emerson College. He teaches in the Creative Writing MFA program at Lesley University. He lives in Boston and in Scotland.

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Inexcusable 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chris Lynch¿s book Inexcusable is a powerful novel about some of the choices that males may need to make in modern day high school. Keir is a senior who lives with his widowed father Ray. Throughout his life he has always been told by his loved ones what a good guy he is. Then an event changes his life. In a football game he blocks a guy from the other team and somehow cripples him. Now he is named Killer Keir. His popularity is rising now and with it he begins to make very poor choices. He goes to parties where there is drinking and drug use, he vandalizes the school, and plays a horrible prank on the school¿s soccer team. He lives in denial of it all, justifying himself as a good guy who would never do those things. However, these choices lead up to this one event that is indeed inexcusable.

This is a very good book that really puts the importance of good friends and making wise choices into perspective. This is a great read for both genders because many boys will be able to relate to Keir in some way, and girls will probably know someone exactly like Keir. This book does contain some language. However, it is no different than what you would hear if you actually walked into a high school.

I highly recommend this book to anyone in high school. It captures your attention right away and you won¿t be able to put it down. It doesn¿t take that long to read and is well worth your time.
stephanie1675 More than 1 year ago
it really maKES you think about the one you love. about making sure you truely know the ones you love. it catches your attention and its hard to put down. you want to see what happens next and how things turn out.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Keir is a good guy. He's about to graduate from high school and follow his older sisters to college. The reader will admire the closeness of his family: the father, a widower who has raised his three children alone; the son who adores his older sisters. Yes, Keir is a good guy.

When an opposing football player is gravely injured as a result of Keir's perfect tackle, we believe Keir. It's not his fault. He's a good guy. Right?

The reader will wonder, along with Keir, if it was really possible that he's been a part of the vandalism of a local monument. And surely Keir, a spring soccer player himself, would never have contributed to the football teams' severe hazing of his teammates after the soccer banquet.

When his sister's aren't able to attend his graduation, the reader empathizes with his feelings of betrayal. We understand his need to let loose on the night of his graduation and feel concern as he faces troubling choices. We feel hopeful when Gigi, the girl of his dreams, leans on him when her boyfriend stands her up. Just like Keir's sisters.

The evening becomes a kaleidoscope of emotions, which result in risky behavior, a three-hour limo ride across the state line, a visit to his college, and a night with Gigi. Keir's a good boy. He would never commit the inexcusable...would he?

I read this book all the way through in one sitting. It was riveting. INEXCUSABLE by Chris Lynch is a glimpse into a boy walking a blurred line into manhood. This is a must read for any young man who has ever been, or ever expects to be, in love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did he get her pregnant?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending of this book is just so disappointing! Its anT unfinished book that needed more of a detail or a thrill to interest me.
ABED123 More than 1 year ago
This great book attracted my eyes, by just seeing the reviews about it. I could not put this book down, i took reading into another level by reading this phenominal book. I recommend this book to anybody that likes sports and has a girl/guy in their lives.
Schwakalaka More than 1 year ago
This book truely realistic and takes you into the perspective of Kier Safarian. This book is powerful and keep you flipping pages until you finished reading it. A must check-out book.
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KLBCHOICES More than 1 year ago
Keir Sarafian saw himself as a good person. Gigi Boudakian also saw him as a good person, but the night of their high school graduation her feelings changed. Having Keir tell things from his point of view was interesting. I noticed how he called himself a good guy as if that made it okay when he made bad choices. He also saw quite a few things that happened in his life as inexcusable, but what he did - his own inexcusable act - he denied as if he truly believed it never happened. I didn't like the way characters took the Lord's name in vain at times, but, other than that, this was a good read. It took a while before I really got into the story, but then the more I read the more I couldn't wait to get to the page that helped me to understand why Keir really believed he didn't do what Gigi insisted he did. Parents: The rape is tastefully written. There's also a bit of profanity and alcohol & drug use.
zacnkman16 More than 1 year ago
Keir Sarafian is a good guy. After all, he has "Character Witness". He has two respectable and lolay sisters that care bout him and love him to pieces. keir thinks he's not a monster. Ray, keirs dad, and widowed for years would do anything for his kids. So how could Keir not be a good guy???? "the way it looks is not he way it is". This is a story of a boy who seems to make honorable decisions throughout the book. He says no to drugs, does not participate in unsportsman-like conduct or hazing. his whole highschool year was brought down from being good with scholoriships from his famous wich turned out bad tackel to a complete close out with the question of the perception of a rape he supposedly committed?? Was this an all out to do because of the mistake of Gigi made by not saying no, so she blamed him for her mistake or for the fact that he did it? It speaks the truth, lies and the perception of both to different people. Inexcusable is a great read and i would recomind this to young male adults and also teen age boys entering late adolescents.
Screekmore0122 More than 1 year ago
I am a 22 year old girl who first off knows very little about football which is what the majority of this book it about. When you read the back preview, it makes you think the book is going to be all about the rape of a young girl by a supposed good guy..However, the first half of the book is about how he crippled a guy during none other than a football game! I really wish the characters were more developed. I mean you basically know that Keir is a "good guy", Gigi is beautiful, Keir's sisters are smart and live 3 hours away, and Ray drinks and plays risk with Keir. The only interesting parts of this book were extremely brief! This book was just not for me...maybe because I like more of a thrill or maybe because I am a chick! Sorry Lynch!
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nylyak More than 1 year ago
Inexcusable by Chris Lynch is a pretty good book. It's a story about a guy name Keir Sarafian who considers himself a good guy. In the very beginning of the book, I was extremely confused. There was a big argument going on and it was hard to follow. Yes I read the summary but I still had no clue what was going on. After that first chapter you're finally into the storyline. It starts at the beginning and it gets easier to follow. There are a few slow parts in the story but once you get passed them it is a good book. When I first started reading the book it didn't really sound interesting. I mean yeah the first chapter was good but it somewhat had trouble keeping my attention. As I contiued to read it, I got more hooked on the story and didn't want to put it down. At one point, Keir tries to get his sisters that are in college to come to his graduation. They tell him they can't make it and make up an excuse saying they have to study for exams. It disappoints Keir but he accepts it. Then he and his friend/the girl he's madly in love with, Gigi Boudakian, decide to visit his sisters at their college. When he gets to the college he discovers from his sisters' roomate, that they were done their exams. One of them was on a date and the other was out with friends. It was one of those "oh, snap" moments and it makes you think what Keir is going to do. In my opinion, Keir should have done more than he actually did in reaction to this news. In the very beginning of the story you would most likely assume that it was a mistake or a misunderstanding, the situation between Keir and Gigi, but as you read the ending you finally understand what is going on and realize that it really was inexcusable. This story makes you think about the one you love and if they love you back the same way. It's an emotional story that's why I like it. I recommend it if you want an easy read or you want to read a book that makes you think.
kw517 More than 1 year ago
Inexcusable, written by Chris Lynch, starts off with Keir Sarafian in a bedroom with his upset and angry friend Gigi Boudakian, whom he just so happens to love. He tells the reader that whatever the situation looks like is not the truth. By recalling multiple memories of his senior year leading up to this one fateful event, Keir tries to defend himself as a "good boy". Such memories include him paralyzing an opponent during a football game, playing an on going game of risk with his drunken father, prom night, and finally the night following his high school graduation. Throughout the entire novel, Keir questions himself as well as the situations he and his family seem to always find themselves in, all the while trying to prove to Gigi that he in fact did not rape her, or did anything wrong at all for that matter. Keir Sarafian is a lost and lonely teenage boy who is in love with his best friend. Keir tries to likes to be liked, and therefore seems to get lost in peer pressure. He has always heard throughout his life that he is a "good boy" and in his mind has done a very good job at defending that title, when in reality he is looking back on his senior year through foggy eyes. His best friend Gigi Boudakian, however, never has a problem keeping Keir grounded. She is in love with a boy who left her at home while he went to study in the military, and finds a lot of comfort in her close guy friend. While others call Keir Killer and Killeeer because of his football incident, she sees right through his confused eyes and sees a soft and kind young boy. Another main person in Keir's life is his father, Ray. Ray and Keir have the house to themselves because Keir's two older sisters are already in college, and he lost his mother at a very young age. Keir and Ray love to drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of meat and "manly" food, and play an ongoing game of Risk. Ray seems like the perfect father in Keir's life, though in reality he is a depressed widower that is only looking for an outlet in life, and finds that through booze and a friendship with his son. "I hate it when people I love let me down. It's like, the worst thing there is." (p. 128) - Keir Sarafian This quotation is such an important part of the story because it shows just how lost and confused Keir really can be. He knows that he hates it when other people that he is close to are rude to him, or lie to him, or hurt him in any way really. Yet he hurts Gigi in an inexcusable way by raping her the night after their graduation. In a way, Keir is really letting Gigi down, because she trusts him enough to take care of her and be a friend when she is upset, yet he "mistakes" her muffled moans for help as her accepting what is going on. I strongly disagree with how Keir lives his life towards the end of his senior year. For example, he says that he can remember watching a video of a boy who looked a lot like him hazing fellow soccer players, yet he refuses to believe that the guy on the tape that is dressed exactly like him and looks like him could actually be him, because he is too good of a guy to do bad things. Many times throughout the novel Keir seems to be too drunk or on too many drugs to actually remember what is going on in his life. I don't think that that is any kind of way for anyone to live their life, never mind a teenager who still has so much more of life to look forward too. I found the ending to the novel to be a very unusual concept because although Keir spends the ent
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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bbb11 More than 1 year ago
Inexcusable By Chris Lynch In Your senior year of high school, it is supposed to be a memorable one, and full of great memories. Keir, however, was not able to experience this kind of life. One night, Keir was accused of raping his girlfriend Gigi. Keir is hooked on every drug possible, and just cannot control his habit. The nickname he got "killer" was from accidentally paralyzing his quarterback. It is a nightmare for Keir. The main character in the book is Keir, a sixteen year old in high school. Keirs hobbys are football, partying, and doing drugs. Doing drugs is giving Keir angry thoughts, and sometimes depression. Football gives him pleasure because he can release his anger on the opponent and actually not get in trouble for his acts. Although, paralyzing his teammate, changes every thought he has about football. Then you have Keir's father Ray. Ray does not seem to care much about Keirs life. In the book, he does not seem like much of a father figure, which may be the reason Keir is all messed up. Finally, the one who got paralyzed from Keirs hit, Ken. Ken was the star quarterback for the team, and a very positive person. When he went down, his life flashed before his eyes. Ken has changed since the incident, and says he has mixed emotions about whether or not he can forgive Keir. There was a very important passage in the book that I think really stood as a life lesson. Keir, the narrator, says "Take this from me. Life is not all about drugs and booze. It took me years to finally realize that my life was going absolutely nowhere. IF your like me, then knock off what you're doing now, before its too late." I really respect this passage, because it shows that he has learned from his mistakes. It shows he is maturing. I chose this passage because I believe it really serves as a life lesson. It's really a message to people who might have issues of their own, and understand that there is hope, and that you can change. Keir seems to be proud of himself, because he knew what kind of struggle he has been going through. He really shows a lot of character. In the book, I disagree with the fact that Ray, his father, will not help him through this tough time. Ray can see it in his eyes that Kier needs someone, and Ray will not. That I cannot agree with one bit. I can honestly say there are no errors in the book. Keir tells it how it is, and tells the truth and really explains his uphill battle. This book really reflects a person I know very well (not saying who). He is in jail for the same kind of thing. It is my hope that in the end, he will persevere the same way that Keir did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
avid_reader510 More than 1 year ago
This book was on my summer reading list, but I read it just because I wanted to. It was heart-wrenching. I didn't know what to think of it. It was slow at times, but after everything was spilled out onto the table, I really don't think I lost concentration even once. This book was amazing. It's terrible, but amazing. There's a cliff-hanger, but we can all figure out what happens next... Read it. It's good, and it teaches something you'll never foget.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago