Dead to You

Dead to You

by Lisa McMann


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442403895
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 12/04/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 339,676
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: HL620L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Lisa McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle grade dystopian fantasy series The Unwanteds, the YA paranormal Wake trilogy, and several other books for kids and teens. She lives with her family in the Phoenix area. Check out Lisa's website at, learn more about The Unwanteds Series at, and be sure to say hi on Instagram or Twitter (@Lisa_McMann), or Facebook (

Read an Excerpt

Dead To You

  • 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.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Dead to You 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
    JoanneLevy More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    It was sooooooo good but it needs closure!!!!!!! There DEFINATELY needs to be a sequal!!! I loved vit though!!!!!
    Kaley_T More than 1 year ago
    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!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is so emotional and i think it need a sequel because the end is a cliffhanger.
    BookSpot on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    A bit of a disclaimer: I have not read Lisa McMann's Wake series yet, so the following statement should be read with that in mine. Dead to You is my favorite of McMann's books thus far.Seven year old Ethan De Wilde was abducted from his front yard nine years ago, right in front of his younger brother, Blake. Now, at the age of sixteen he has returned home. Everything should be glorious and happy - and for a little while it is.But Ethan's reintroduction to his family is tearing them apart all over again. If only he could remember something, anything . . . anything at all. Something's keeping his memory's locked away, though. Something horrible.Dead to You is a different sort of abduction and return story. It's not focused on Ethan's time away from his family nor is it focused on his happy return to his family - at least no the happy part. It looks at the way things are hard for him and them after he returns.He has a younger brother who was there when he was taken away from their from sidewalk and driven away in an unknown car, not to be seen again for nine years. He has a sister, Gracie who, at only six-years-old, never knew him and is, understandably, wary of this new person's arrival into their family. And he has - also understandably - incredibly overprotective parents.As Ethan is trying to fit into his new - old - life that's where most of the book is but it's great that it's all told from his view. It gives more conflict and also allows readers to see just that little bit more that we wouldn't if it had been from another character's point of view. It also keeps us from seeing a lot of certain things if the story had either alternated views or been from third person.Dead to You is short and saying too much else would be spoilery and might ruin some of your enjoyment of this great story. If you're thinking about it, do give this book a chance.
    LauraMoore on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    As soon as I read the premise for Dead to You by Lisa McMann I knew I had to read it. It sounded spectacular and i'm ashamed to say that prior to reading Dead To You I had not read anything else by her. Ethan is seven years old when he's abducted in front of his younger brother, but isn't seven years old, old enough to know better then to get into a car with a stranger? Nine years later, Ethan is brought back to his family and thrown back into a life he dosen't remember anything about. Ethan's struggle to get back in the swing of his families life, and his journey to feeling like he belongs was truly heart-breaking. I felt for him so hard because his younger brother was hesistant to believe that he was really Ethan, and his little sister (that he'd never met) felll right in love with him. My heart broke along with him, but I guess I was always hoping for more from the story. I couldn't relate to his brothers hatred of him and at times hated him for it. The ending held a bit of surprise for me and for that I did think this was a pretty decent book, it didn't fall as flat as I thought it was going to for me when I was half-way through the story. I really wish that story would have continued on, whatever happened to Ethan, what was his families reaction??!!! It left me feeling incomplete, the story just stopped aprubtly and left me with too many questions. I loved Lisa's writing story, I just wanted more from the story, I guess maybe more answers, and more depth because that felt a little forced to me at times. If you do like mysterys and heartbreaking contempories then you should definitely check this story out, It's gotten some RAVE reviews, and I didn't dislike it, just wanted a little more from the story.
    Whisper1 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    Many thanks to Terri (Tymfos) for recommending this excellent book. It was difficult to put down once I began to read the first page.Abducted at seven, Ethan miraculously locates his biological parents when he is 16 years old. With his family, a small town community celebrates his return. Finding a lapse in memories and a difficult adjustment to "normalcy" after years of abuse, neglect, homelessness and abandonment, Ethan struggles to belong.Desperately wanting to fit in, to belong, to be loved, Ethan wants ever so much to be accepted. Resenting the attention and his return, his younger brother Blake claims he is a fake. Listening to nightly arguments from his new found parents feels like a stab in the heart. When his younger sister loves him and grows attached to Ethan, he finally feels like there is a raft in the middle of the deep, dark ocean.This is well written and powerful. The ending was unexpected.Highly recommended.Four stars.
    lms8esmith on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    Ethan has finally found his family after being gone for 9 years, but he can't remember anything about his life from before. McMann lures the reader into the story with the miracle of being found after so many years. One feels for Ethan and his family as they begin the process of becoming a family again as Ethan's younger brother stuggles with anger issues related to Ethan's abduction. Ethan has several strange spells that he can't quite control, but his former best friend, Cami, helps him stay calm through the ups and downs of learning about his family again. Of course a little romance is twisted into the story, and McMann leaves one feeling breathless and heavy hearted in the end. I enjoyed this novel and finished in one day, and I'm confident that my students will also enjoy this book.
    MaryinHB on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    MY THOUGHTSLOVED ITThe story opens with Ethan reuniting with his family after being abducted nine years earlier. The family agrees that Ethan has grown and changed a bit, but this is Ethan. He has some emotional issues and can't remember the details of his youth but he seems to fit in and the family goes to counseling in order to come to grips with the hurt they have all experienced. He now has a little sister, Grace and his younger brother, Blake, still remembers the fateful day when he was taken even though he was only four. There are some details that just don't add up in Blake's mind. The psychologist and his parents agree that because of the traumatic experience, it is only normal that he can't remember anything. As Blake becomes more suspicious and starts to learn genetics in school. he puts things together and they just don't add up.If you are a fan of the Twilight Zone, this book fits in nicely with that television show. Right when you think things are *normal* there is a weird twist and when that happens, the world shifts. The De Wilde family is torn apart by Ethan's return and even though they are overjoyed with the reunion, Blake doesn't give an inch in his belief that Ethan should remember something from his past, even if he did suffer terrible abuse. Ethan's relationship with his siblings are polar opposites where Blake is his enemy and Grace becomes his fan. Ethan also starts to have a relationship with Cami, the girl down the street he grew up with and continues even though he knows Blake has a crush on her. Cami believes this is the Ethan she knew since birth. I read this in just a few hours and at times, I had tears. The story of abduction is just so emotional and the majority of these stories are told from the point of view of the parents. So when that is changed, the whole thing takes on more punch. I am trying not to give away any of the details, but the last few pages of this book are packed with a punch. The psychological build up provided by McMann leads to things I just didn't see coming even though once I finished it, I could see where she was going. I really enjoyed this one. There are mentions of abuse, language and some kissing but nothing to hard to take.
    krystal_osmond on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    What a great book this was! Right away, the synopsis makes the book out to be phenomenal and it truly is, from the first page to the last.Years ago, a young 7 year old boy Ethan was abducted from his front yard. Years later (9 years to be precise), he returned to his family who have grown up and have had to move on. Ethan has to try to fit into a life of love, friendship and normalcy now. All these years, Ethan has been trying to figure his life out, and he has finally come home. McMann is able to write this story with so much ease it seems. With a book that deals with such serious and difficult situations, it seems written so perfectly. McMann has to portray these characters that have been without each other for years, a son without his parents and brother, and a mother and father without the son they once had - this would be difficult to write I would imagine, but the author does a wonderful job capturing the feelings and emotions of each character. Ethan is the character that you'll feel bad for, he has lived the most part of his life with his abductor, and he can't remember anything that people throw out to him. Blake, the younger brother is having a hard time adjusting to life with his brother back home, but Grace, oh little Grace, the sister born 1 year after the abduction is such a cute little girl. She'll melt your heart with the things she says and does. All of these characters, plus more are so well written and believable. They just add to the overall greatness of Dead To You. This isn't just the happy ending book we think it should be. No way, this is so much more than that. It's an intense, pyscological puzzle that is just so worth it.I recommend that you read Dead To You. The ending will leave you speechless!
    DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: This novel was written with a stream-of-consciousness style narrative that fails to fully deliver the suspense the story needed. This drama is not for someone looking for an easy, happy read.Opening Sentence: There are three of them. No, four.The Review:Reviewing this book is hard, because I¿m still feeling weighed down by all the emotions it evoked. Which is good, in the sense that there¿s nothing sadder than a book that can¿t move its reader, but my feelings were evoked more because of the parallels I made to the real world than because of the author. Even after a few hours, I still feel like the weight of every missing child is hanging around my shoulders. It is not a good feeling.Because the book is so short, and the plot so reliant on surprise there¿s not a lot I can say about the story that isn¿t in the synopsis. Ethan has no memory of leaving with Ellen at the age of seven, or any of his life before that. He tries to, but the memories just aren¿t there. Everything he knows about his family he learns by finding their website about him and his case, which is when he saw his picture. Because it hurts his family when he doesn¿t remember almost as much as when he does, he pretends to remember some things when asked. His lack of memory along with his relationship with his brother is the cause of most of the drama in this story. Many of the relationships between the characters are unsurprising and, at least to me, were developed in an expected way. They followed what I considered to be the logical path after Ethan¿s semi-prodigal return. There are a few characters in the story that haven¿t been fully developed and act like stock characters, moving the story along.I cared about Ethan by the end of the book mostly because it was a first person narration. He wasn¿t a particularly likable character, but he was pitiable, which added to the weight of the story. He went through hard times and McMann¿s narrative style is authentic, holding nothing back from the reader. Sometimes the adapted stream-of-consciousness she¿s written reads as contrived and forced, however, which pulled me out of the story in a number of places. However, her narrator is a smart boy, a survivor, and his strength pulls the reader into his life. McMann uses similes, which helped me as a reader understand what Ethan felt even though his abduction and return is so far outside of anything I¿ve imagined.This is a terrifying story, because abduction is a terrifying experience both for the one taken and those left at home. So is the abandonment Ethan went through during his nine years away. It sounds like a horrible nightmare and McMann has done a good job of bringing that across. However, the suspense of this book is what drives the plot. Will Ethan get his memories back? Is he suppressing them because of some abuse? What happens if he doesn¿t remember? A sense of impending doom stains the story. By the time I reached the end of the book, I had waited so long for the answer that when everything comes together I didn¿t even have it in me to be surprised.The story followed the most obvious path, focusing mostly on family drama and Ethan¿s small romantic subplot. There¿s a sense of convenience about the story from the very beginning and unfortunately it dilutes the suspense that should have kept me gripped.Notable Scene:And it¿s not good. It¿s really not. It goes something like this.Dad: You¿re grounded for like. I have a thousand chores for you to do, including kissing Blake¿s ass. No friends over. Cami, go home forever.Me: But, Dad, he started it.Dad: Family meeting tonight after everybody calms down. For now, you are dead to me.FTC Advisory: Simon Pulse provided me with a copy of Dead To You. No goody bags, sponsorships, ¿material connections,¿ or bribes were exchanged for my review.
    eheinlen on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    Overall, I was pretty disappointed in this book. Right from the get-go, you know that something is wrong with the entire reunion scenario, you just don't know what. Through the whole book, you are both rooting for the kid to regain his memories and become happy again and, at the same time, you know that something is off just enough that it's not going to happen. When the shoe finally fell, I just basically felt bad for the kid's "family." They didn't deserve that. On the other hand, I didn't hate the kid because I don't think he meant to hurt the family. He obviously had a terrible life and subconsciously created this world in which he would have a better life. The whole scenario was a lose-lose for everyone.
    TFS93 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    My main problem with this book was that I had the end figured out at the beginning. Ethan was hard to like and the parents were hard to connect with. Gracie was my favorite character and I found Ethan's obsession with her to be a bit disturbing. This is a quick read and the writing is very well done.
    nitalia on LibraryThing 5 months ago
    Dead to you by Lisa Mcmann is a very touching novel. There is this young 7 year old child named Ethan who was abducted from his front yard when he was playing with his younger brother. Ethan was dropped off at a group home and through research for missing children he found out about his "family."At the age of 16 he reunites with his real parents, his brother Blake and his sister Grace who was born after Ethan was kidnapped. In no time his family begins to fall apart. He tries his best to remember those memories so that he can glue the family back together but, his memory doesn't cooperate with him. The pictures, the toys and the conversations with his parents didn't seem to help. Throughout the book he would say his thoughts of the present as well as refer to how life would be with his abductor Ellen. After reading this book i felt penitent towards Ethan, It made me disappointed because after all that time i spent the outcome was beyond my expectations. The book shows his family's struggles with each other as Ethan re-enters their lives. I pretty much liked the book until the sudden ending , and now it makes me not want to pick up the next book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Liked the book, but I wish it would have a better ending
    booookworm More than 1 year ago
    Such a good book!!! If you like plot twists this is the book for you! I loved reading this book and it only took me like an hour to read because I kept wanting to find out more! It left me speechless. Beautifully written.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.