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4.0 1
by Stefan Petrucha

Wade Jackson has always felt split, his love for playing and writing music competing with his ambition to do well in school. But when his mother dies, this need for order competes with his desire to leave it all behind. What follows is a split in his consciousness that takes him to two very different worlds.

Told in alternating chapters that together form one


Wade Jackson has always felt split, his love for playing and writing music competing with his ambition to do well in school. But when his mother dies, this need for order competes with his desire to leave it all behind. What follows is a split in his consciousness that takes him to two very different worlds.

Told in alternating chapters that together form one cohesive story, Split follows both Wades as they pursue what they think is the correct path. One Wade continues working hard in school, pulling all-nighters to write a computer code he believes will save the world. The other Wade pursues the dream of being a dive-bar singer, pulling all-nighters to party, gamble, and live on the edge. But when these two worlds begin to collide, each Wade will need to find a balance between control and abandon, order and chaos, life missed and life lost, in order to save himself.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
Fifteen-year-old Wade Jackson's mother is dead. She dies in the Prologue. His father has chosen to vanish and apparently lose himself in alcohol, leaving Wade pretty much on his own. Fast forwarding three years (with no explanation of the interim) reveals Wade leading two parallel lives: the creative-guitar-playing-high-school-drop-out and the computer-whiz determined to save the world via technology. With dry humor, disconnectedness, and aplomb, the high school senior navigates both worlds, often trampling his two best friends, Ant and Denby. Eventually, as would be expected, the two worlds of Wade collide and consequences must be paid; choices must be made. For the young person who has a short attention span and is looking for a soul mate, this book may hold interest. Parents, librarians, teachers who want to encourage in their teen the egocentrism of a two year old and total lack of positive parental influence may want to purchase this book. Young Adult readers who wish to spend hours trying to follow a fellow traveler down two roads at once while he spouts expletives and insults the girl in his life may wish to invest the seventeen dollars of purchase, or maybe not. This reviewer found "our hero" crass, self-centered, and apparently incapable of expressing himself short of crude, gutter language. Wade Jackson seems a cheap imitation of Percy Jackson without the aid of a mythological heritage and without the compassion for his friends or the simple humility that makes Percy winsome. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—As a young teen, Wade sometimes talked to himself after his mother died. Fast forward three years as Split begins: with two Chapter Ones, two Chapter Twos—and two Wades. They both live in present-day Rivendale with alcoholic fathers (one currently drinking, one not), girlfriends named Denby, and friends named Ant. One Wade is a high school senior and a computer genius, writing code on his rig and living a straight-arrow life. The other Wade is a musician, in debt to violent loan sharks, who doesn't think much of "scien-ticks" and "flashy drives." There is a sinister company (Prometheus) that may or may not be running experiments that could destroy the world. Petrucha's "all or nothing" style ("How can you not take it too seriously if you're the only one who can prove the world might end?") demands a suspension of disbelief, but many readers will eagerly go along to see what happens when the two Wades not only meet, but also switch places. It's frustrating that Petrucha never explains the dual universe, how the split happened, and how the personalities exchanged, but it's clear that Prometheus is the bad guy and that Wade saves the world, so that may be enough. Most of the character development is sacrificed in pursuit of action, but for many readers, a book that reads like it might be made into a movie at any moment is just fine. For a more authentic computer adventure, suggest Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (Tor, 2008).—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Publishers Weekly
Petrucha (The Rule of Won) offers a reality-bending take on the idea of split personalities. After the death of Wade’s mother in the prologue, the story jumps ahead three years and unfolds in alternating chapters, both narrated by Wade but in two very different realities. In one, the high school senior is a Type-A aspiring scientist, anxious to prove a theory that modifications to the town’s particle collider are a potentially deadly threat; in the other, the particle collider has been closed down and Wade is a selfish, guitar-playing dropout, who gets involved with some dangerous mobsters. Which universe and which Wade are real (if the answer is even one or the other) gets murkier as reality shifts, culminating in a meeting of the two Wades, but there are enough textual and visual cues (different fonts for each Wade, among other elements) that will allow readers to follow. Though both story lines and the dialogue lean toward the melodramatic, Petrucha’s story should leave readers considering the power of fate versus choice and the internal urges and desires that regularly jostle for control. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
When Wade's mother dies, his reality splits. In one dimension, he is good Wade, a worrywart math genius who's trying to save his town from a potentially dangerous particle collider. In the dimension next door, he is bad Wade, a ne'er-do-well guitar player who's on the run from the mob. When both Wades visit their mother's grave, they end up switching places so each Wade can use his unique skills to solve the other Wade's dire situation. This Butterfly Effect-meets-Sliding Doors thriller fails to hit the mark because the contrived plot, with its obvious message of choice and consequence, leaves readers with very little to figure out on their own. Good Wade even wonders to himself, "I'm not one for spiritual explanations, but could that be why we switched? To solve each other's problems?" Petrucha writes good banter, and he weaves some interesting Trickster mythology into bad Wade's storyline, but that's not enough to save this overworked sci-fi tale. For a much better wrought interdimensional comedy, try Printz Award-winning Going Bovine (2009) instead. (Science fiction. 13 & up)

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

STEFAN PETRUCHA is the author of many novels for teens, including Teen, Inc., The Rule of Won, the TimeTripper series, the Nancy Drew graphic novels, and the Wicked Dead series. He lives in Massachusetts.

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Split 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Wade Jackson just lost his mother. In the chaos that follows the death of a loved one, Wade finds himself being pulled in two different directions with two different ambitions: to do excellent in school or to play his guitar and sing music. Wade has to decide which ambition to pursue and which will benefit not only himself but humanity, as well. Petrucha writes an intriguing novel that has an interesting set-up. Every other chapter is told from the different Wade. The first starts with the musician Wade, who doesn't care about school or rules, and the second chapter - with a different font to distinguish between the two Wades - is about the A+ student. Setting up the book in this interesting way is confusing at first, but it soon sucks the reader in. This interesting novel is sure to please any who are willing to get submerged in an alternate reality-type story with many twists and turns.