Right Behind You [NOOK Book]

Overview

When he was nine, Kip set another child on fire. Now, after years in a juvenile ward, he is ready for a fresh start. But the ghosts of his past soon demand justice, and he must reveal his painful secret. How can Kip tell anyone that he really is--or was--a murderer?
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Right Behind You

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Overview

When he was nine, Kip set another child on fire. Now, after years in a juvenile ward, he is ready for a fresh start. But the ghosts of his past soon demand justice, and he must reveal his painful secret. How can Kip tell anyone that he really is--or was--a murderer?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Giles (What Happened to Cass McBride?) returns with another riveting nail-biter. Kip and his father live a spartan life in Alaska until nine-year-old Kip, in a jealous rage, sets a neighboring boy afire, killing him. Put in a psychiatric hospital for criminal juveniles, he is released four and a half years later and moves to Indiana with his father and new stepmother. Kip and his family assume new identities (Kip now goes by Wade). As Wade, who is by all accounts observant, articulate and intelligent, struggles with the sins of his past and finding his place in the outside world, he becomes a star swimmer at the school and even gets a girlfriend, who he nicknames "Absolutely Cutest." However, one drunken evening, Wade reveals his secret to his friends and soon after he and his family are forced to relocate once more, this time to Texas. There he finds a kindred spirit in his new neighbor Sam, a beautiful girl who considers herself to be "damaged goods" of a sort, as well. This story explores, with sympathy and compassion, the nature of guilt, atonement and forgiveness. As Giles delicately handles these delicate issues and questions ("Do you get to kill someone and say, 'Oh, really sorry now,' and everything is fine?"), readers should be glued to Wade's story, hoping for his redemption. Ages 15-up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Ria Newhouse
On the afternoon of Bobby Clarke's seventh birthday, nine-year-old Kip McFarland douses Bobby in gasoline, flips open a lighter, "flick[s] the wheel [and] pitche[s] it onto Bobby Clarke." Three days later Bobby Clarke dies, and Kip spends the next three years in an Alaskan lock-up for teenage delinquents. He spends his days reading the classics, working through "tough stuff" with "the Frown" (his therapist), and vacillating between acting like a "normal" teen and spending time in solitary for inappropriate actions. But just as there is a time for every season, Kip's new season begins when he is released back into civilization. He and his family assume a new identity, move to Indiana, and start over again. Meet Wade Madison. This novel rings through the readers head as a "combination book," merging themes of murder, survival, keeping a secret, swimmer becomes golden, and surviving in the Alaskan wild, as seen respectively in Monster by Walter Dean Myers (HarperCollins, 1999/VOYA August 1999); part Gary Paulsen's Hatchet (Bradbury, 1987/VOYA February 1988); part Joyce McDonald's Swallowing Stones (Delacorte, 1997/VOYA December 1997), part Chris Crutcher's Ironman (Greenwillow, 1995/VOYA June 1995), and even part Ben Mikaelson's Touching Spirit Bear (HarperCollins, 2001/VOYA June 2001). Giles's formula for forgiveness is a little too preachy at times; talking about and admitting to your mistakes does not always bring redemption and/or atonement over the course of a few years. But in Kip's case, ultimate redemption comes not in the form of self-forgiveness but in letting go of regret and self-sabotage. And as the title tells readers, it is often what is right behind that can be the mostdifficult to see.
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up
After setting his seven-year-old neighbor in Alaska on fire, Kip McFarland spends four years in a facility for violent juvenile offenders. When he is released at the age of 14, he, his father, and his new stepmother move to Indiana, with new names. For a while, Wade enjoys a normal life. Eventually, however, despite the warnings of his therapist, he sabotages his happiness in a drunken fit of rage. After he reveals his identity, the town turns on him and his family. Now, a coastal Texas town is their final shot at starting over. The cozy community appears to be a perfect haven, but Wade feels compelled to reveal his past to Sam, the beautiful and mysterious neighbor who is winning his heart-and has a story of her own. Will she still accept him once she finds out he is a murderer? This quick read has a compelling story line, but the characters, especially the adults, are at times one-dimensional, with voices that are somewhat indistinguishable from one another. Reluctant readers will be drawn to the story's accessibility, and many teens will be pulled in by the larger questions the novel poses about innocence and acceptance. Despite its flaws, this book will be a hit with Giles's fans.
—Lynn RashidCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Booklist
"Fans will come away with a greater understanding of redemption and forgiveness."
From the Publisher
Praise for Right Behind You:

"This story explores, with sympathy and compassion, the nature of guilt, atonement and forgiveness."—Publishers Weekly

"Fans will come away with a greater understanding of redemption and forgiveness."—Booklist

Praise for What Happened to Cass McBride?:

-A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
-An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
-An ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults

"Compelling...will be a hit."—School Library Journal

* "Crisply written."—KLIATT (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316040716
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 145,395
  • File size: 211 KB

Meet the Author

Gail Giles is the acclaimed author of several psychological drama/suspense novels for teens, including WHAT HAPPENED TO CASS MCBRIDE?, SHATTERING GLASS, DEAD GIRLS DON'T WRITE LETTERS, and PLAYING IN TRAFFIC. SHATTERING GLASS was an ALA "Best of the Best" Book (one of the best 100 books for young readers of the decade), an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick for Young Readers, a Booklist Top Ten Mystery for Youth, and received starred reviews in Booklist and Kirkus. Her most recent novel, WHAT HAPPENED TO CASS MCBRIDE? received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, VOYA and KLIATT and received several citations (see quotes and reviews).

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Haunting

    The first person I heard about this book from was Ely. And I have to give her eternal thanks for recommending it. But why has no one else read this? It came out in 2007...not that long ago. If you haven't read this, let me just start out by saying, you should. It's amazing.

    The novel focuses on Kip/Wade. After his mom dies from cancer (before the book starts), he and his dad are left to live by themselves in the Alaskan bush. Kip is home schooled, he doesn't have a ton of contact with other kids, his dad isn't getting along that well financially, etc. He's a bitter guy. So when Bobby Clarke stops by to show off the fancy-looking baseball glove he got for his birthday, Kip sloshes gasoline on him and lights him on fire. Afterwards, Kip goes into a coma, doesn't talk for months, and is placed in a home for the young and mentally unstable.

    It was such a great, dramatic beginning for the story. I was immediately hooked. It's not everyday that you read a book about a child murderer. It's really far out of the ordinary.

    The plot twists and writing style sort of follow the lines of "shock and awe". You get all this drama, trauma, and craziness thrown in your face and you have to make of it what you will. The good part about that is that it's done in a very classy and smooth way. The events in Wade's*** life after the "incident" are all very believable and true to the real-world. Maybe the specific event that this book is based around has never happened (at least I think it hasn't), but if it did, I wouldn't find it hard to believe that what happened in this book would happen in that circumstance.

    The characters, relationships, and writing add to the awesomeness even more. Wade grew and transformed throughout the book. He learned to love himself, his dad, his stepmom, and the world he lived in. I am in total awe of Gail Giles for being able to write this book through a guy's point of view and pull it off so convincingly. It worked really well.

    Plus, the message of the story is really deep and intellectual.

    ""Here's how it goes. The ghost has the truth set out in front of him in a bowl, all ready for him to eat. And he's screaming for it, he's so hungry. But the only thing he has to eat it with is a long spoon. His arms are too short for him to get the truth into the spoon and then into his mouth. So he finds another ghost with the same problem and they sit across from each other and..."
    "Feed each other," I whispered."

    Yeah. That's DEEP. With all the context surrounding that passage, I got shivers when I read it.

    Also, I am super glad I read this book at this point in time because for the application to get into Honors English next year, you have to write an essay on how the author of a book you read recently used a literary element to demonstrate their views on human nature. This book couldn't fit more perfectly.

    So thank you soooo much to Ely for recommending this. And please, please, please read this if you haven't already. Definitely one of the best books I've read this year, hands down.


    ***Yes, I'm aware that the name switched. Kip=before murder, Wade=after murder.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    Great book, Bad ending

    This was a really great book. I coulndnt stand to put it down. The only downside was the ending. She could have written more about how Sam reacted to Wade/Kip. Otherwise, this book was fantastic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Surprise

    I picked up this book randomly to read for a school project. I didn't expect to like it. In fact, I was almost positive I was going to give it back and choose a new one. How wrong I was! I read this book in two days. Kip, the main character, begins the story at nine years old and as the years progress he goes from being nine to fourteen to sixteen. I loved reading about Kip and his struggles. I found myself fighting tears of anger at the injustice of their prejudices towards him. I even found myself rooting for Kip. He was so much more than everyone thought he was. I would highly recommend this book. It's not your typical fiction and it surprised me greatly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2008

    Good Book

    Kip was a nine-year-old boy who murdered a kid. After about 4 years in a juvenile hall and extensive therapy he is set out into the real world with a new beginning. He has a new name (Wade), new city (Indiana), and a new step-mother (Carrie), but will this help him escape from the demons of his past? At his new school he is the star swimmer, has great friends, a cute girlfriend, and his dad and Carrie love him. But how can he go on living a lie to his friends? Nobody knows who he really is. Although life is great, he feels like he doesn't deserve it because of his past. Gail Giles does an amazing job of keeping you at the edge of your seat and you can't stop reading this book until you get to the end. <BR/><BR/>I think a lot of young teens can relate to this book. Maybe not in the murdering but in the way high school is portrayed and how one night could change the rest of your life. Wade is just a regular 14-year-old boy, hiding a big secret. I would recommend this book to any teenager.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book was incredeible, you get into the book from page one. The only thing I didn't like was the way it ended because it ended so abruptly, so i'm pretty sure there will be a second one BECAUSE of way it ended. I really HOPE!!!!! I've been researching all over the internet to see if there's another one. I HIGHLY reccommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Simply amazing!

    This book is incredible. Definitely one that can be read multiple times!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Amazing

    One of the best books i have ever read in my life. It was really good. One i would read ocer again

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Good read!

    Kinda short but I enjoyed every minute!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Recommended

    For me, this book started out great and just went downhill from there. I hated the ending as well as Sam's character, but I still highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted January 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    I loved it. I was glued to it from cover to cover. The author (Gail Giles) does a great job of creating the personalities of the characters while surprising me time and time again. I would definetaly recommend it to anyone looking for a great young adult novel.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wow! So good :)

    Im an advid reader, and I really never read books with murder and depressing stuff..but this was great! I really felt for Kip/Wade and his struggles. And I loved the character of Sam! I would recommend this book to guys or girls! So good!! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    I reccomend this book!

    Im not much of a reader, but i have to read for school. When i found this book i was amazed. This is by far the best book i hav read so far! It is very suspenseful and will make you not want to stop reading! if you dont like to read, i still reccomend this book. Remember, i didnt lkke to read before i read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Addiction Review

    A gutting and distinctive premise combined with a strong YA voice mixed with potent writing make Right Behind You a visceral read. This book is a perfect example of the gray areas often overlooked in any violent act, something that seems on the surface horrible and the blame easy to place. Giles does a remarkable job twisting the situation, spotlighting how there are often two victims rather than one in any violent crime.

    Kip remembers setting Bobby Clark on fire when he was just nine. He remembers the events leading up to the act and he remembers exactly what triggered it. On the surface, jealousy over Bobby's new baseball glove. Lurking deeper, a myriad of emotions and reasons that carry far past the basic act of dousing gasoline on a seven year old boy and throwing a lighter on him. Kip is a child on a very destructive path, one that keeps him in a state mental ward of juvenile offenders for four years. Unable to look past his own self hatred, bitterness and guilt, the reader starts the book wondering if Kip will find a way to make it past things. Yet, he does, soon transforming into Wade Madison in an effort to keep his sordid past hidden. With a chance to start over in a new state, it seems as though things will be alright.

    Kip's dad is another arresting part of this book, a father who's been wrecked a few times but still pushes on. His interactions with Wade are not ones of hatred but of love, a level of emotion that is consuming at times. Carrie is equally as empowering, accepting Kip despite his past and loving him easily as her own son. Though she came into the picture after the fire, Carrie maintains a strong role throughout the book and is as memorable as Kip and his father.

    Despite having a new name, Kip is still prominent, holding the strings for much of Wade's actions. His thoughts and motivations are wrenching and breaking, coming across smoothly throughout the novel. There is no lack of a connection between Wade and the reader, forged early on as the events of the fire, his subsequent comatose state then rehab are portrayed. The book is divided into three sections, each one marking a different part of Wade's life and recovery. Throughout the book, the overall mental voice and character remain, shifting subtly as Wade changes.

    The plot is one of character development and understanding, an interesting twist on a coming of age type of story. The situations Wade finds himself in are played out very reasonably for the set up, particularly of a teenage boy who has been institutionalized for years and is now trying to hide it. His continued self destruction is hard to read but understandable, further strengthening the sympathy and emotion towards him.

    A bold story line, stunning writing, and striking characters combine to make Right Behind You a quick but well worth it and emotional read. This is a book that will challenge a situation deemed on the surface as easy to interpret. The continued ramifications of Kip's actions, even years down the road, appear throughout the book, cropping up at unexpected times but maintaining a constant state of remembrance. Overall, this is a powerful book about a boy whose biggest enemy is himself.

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

    Wow.

    This book is among my must reads. It gives you a different perspective on things. It will broaden anyone with a narrow mind and give you things to think about. This is in no way a light read and i found myself not able to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2009

    From a High School Media Specialist

    I bought this book because it was nominated for a Georgia Peach Book Award. I loved it, and more importantly, my students have loved it. It conveys a significant message to them about dealing with past mistakes, and many of them have seen much of themselves in the main character.

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  • Posted December 7, 2008

    Outstanding Book

    Right Behind You by Gail Giles is a suspenseful novel that will have one enthralled from the very beginning. It starts as nine year old Kip McFarland throws the reader into the story by announcing his dreadful situation. <BR/><BR/>Growing up in the Alaskan wilderness, Kip McFarland led a hard life as his mother died when he was very young and his father forced him to work hard every day. His situation only became worse when little Bobby Clarke came over to show off his new baseball glove. Angry, Kip dowsed the glove in gasoline and lit it on fire. His intention was to ruin the glove but instead, he took away Bobby's life. This would lead to a roller coaster life in which no person should have to endure.<BR/><BR/>The book covers Kip's stint in an Alaskan mental institution, his rebirth and screw-up in Indiana, and his search for happiness in Texas. Along the way he meets some strange charcters who sometimes help his situation but other times feed his hungry ghosts. This book is suitable for any teenager and would be great for any book report or project.

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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    Gail Giles is the queen of psychological thrillers for teens. And I know that with her last release, I stated that WHAT HAPPENED TO CASS MCBRIDE? was my new favorite Giles book. However, I've taken the liberty of changing my mind (yes, again!) and saying that RIGHT BEHIND YOU tops even that great read. <BR/><BR/>Kip McFarland lived in Alaska with his dad. His mother had gotten sick and died. His Aunt Jemma, his mother's sister, tried to insist that Kip's dad stop living like an animal in the wilds of Alaska, and instead move somewhere proper to raise her nephew. And then he did, because nine-year-old Kip killed Bobby Clarke by setting him on fire. <BR/><BR/>In Indiana, he was Wade Madison, and he lived with his father and stepmother, Carrie. He became best friends with Dave, a teacher's son. He had a pretty hot girlfriend, Lindsey (also known as AC, for Absolutely Cutest). He was the star of the swim team. And then he couldn't take his own happiness anymore, went slightly ballistic with a group of his friends, and admitted to murdering a child. It was time to leave Indiana. <BR/><BR/>Carrie's own stepfather had died, leaving her a house in Texas. In Texas, he was still Wade, but he wasn't the Wade from Indiana. And then he met Sam, a girl with tragic secrets of her own, and life changed yet again. He didn't want to be Wade, he wanted to be Kip. But not the Kip that the newspapers had made out to be a monster, and not even the Kip who had once been Wade who was friendly and outgoing and happy-go-lucky. All he wanted was a life that allowed him to accept what he had done without dying from the guilt. <BR/><BR/>Get a copy of RIGHT BEHIND YOU. Read it and cry, and read it and think. Kip isn't a monster, but neither is he innocent. Kip is a boy who made a costly mistake, and has been paying for it ever since. This is his story, and it's an unforgettable one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2008

    In Love 3

    O.M.G. 3 letters that discribe this book. Kyle McFarland tells his side of the story other then news reports about his biggest darkest secret he's kept from friends. Kyle was a 9-year old who set his friend on fire and was sent to a juvenile deliquent center where he learns that hes not the only one that has made mistakes in life. When kyle grows up he learns how to hide his identity,make friends, and control his emotions. I really recommend this book to people who like suspence and mysteries. I hope giles come out with part two!.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2008

    BEST BOOK EVER

    This book was one of the best that I have read. It tells about Kip and how he struggles with life after he murders another child. I never got parts of it until i went back and realized that i didnt read the italisized writing before the story began...READ THAT FIRST and the entire story makes sense in the end...It is a great story of trust, guilt, forgiveness, and love...I LOVE THIS STORY!!!!

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

    Posted June 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews

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