Dead to You
by Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date:February 7, 2012
Release Date:February 7, 2012
Source: Purchased on kindle
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable..
I felt like I was in a trance throughout my entire reading of LIsa McMann's newest, Dead to You. I was hooked from the very first sentence and just HAD to discover what the "unspeakable" event mentioned in the summary was. Luckily, this book is a short 255 pages, so I didn't have to spend much time biting my nails in suspense!
Our main character, Ethan, was abducted at the age of 7, while playing in the front yard with his little brother. Nine years go by with no new information, until BOOM he's returned to his parents, brother, and "replacement" sister. This is where our story really begins.
I felt that the dynamic between Ethan and his family was incredibly realistic.Ethan's parents are absolutely elated that he has been returned to them, seemingly unharmed. His siblings, however, aren't as accepting. He soon wins over his adorable little sister, Gracie, whom he claims "replaced" him when he went missing. Unfortunately though, things aren't as easy with his younger brother, who is still holding on to a large amount of anger.
Ethan slowly settles in and tries to adjust to the reality of living with an actual family again, but things just don't feel right within the family. Tensions between certain family members reach scary heights, and I was left to wonder just what in the heck was going on. I had my suspicions, but honestly I hoped Ms. McMann would pull a punch that would truly shock me.
Unfortunately, though, this did not happen. I found the conclusion of Dead to You to be completely predictable, and I felt so very let down. I felt somewhat cheated once I closed the book. That being said, I would absolutely read a sequel if Ms. McMann chose to write one. Since Dead to You was written in first person, I truly felt connected to the characters by the time I read the last sentence, and I think I need to hear more of their story in order to feel closure about what happened in this book.
Even though the ending of Dead to You ruined what would have been a 5 star rating from me, Ms. McMann did an amazing job describing the emotions and adjustments that the family went through while trying to put their lives back together. Sensational and heartbreaking. I feel like crying just thinking about it. If you're looking for an emotional contemporary read with a big focus on family and just the right amount of suspense thrown in, give Dead to You a shot. I'd love to discuss!