From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Budget cuts spell death for sports programs at East Canton High so Wyatt, a sophomore on the varsity baseball team, is encouraged to move to Silver City to play ball and continue his chances at a college scholarship. Even though a technicality dashes his hopes to join the team, he's at loggerheads with his stepfather and, after a particularly dangerous blowup, decides to move anyway. In Silver City, he realizes that he is now living in the prison town where the biological father he's never met is serving life for murder. Meanwhile, he meets 19-year-old impulsive Greer, whose father is also in prison. Curious to know the circumstances involving Wyatt's father's incarceration, they investigate in the hope that Sonny is innocent. Told in a rapid-fire style, this novel aims at dimension but comes up a little shallow. Too many coincidences render some characters mere plot devices, and Wyatt often comes to emotional understanding too quickly, as when he first meets his father or deals with a confusing girlfriend. That being said, the book will be an easy sell to teens, who will want to keep reading to unravel the mystery surrounding Sonny. With descriptions of foreclosed properties and tough economic realities peppered liberally throughout, along with strong language and sexual situations, this title is as gritty and raw as today's headlines.—Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA
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*Starred Review* It’s common enough to call a book a page-turner, but here’s one that should’ve been printed on a scroll—those pesky page turns take far too much time. With an engulfing plot, multifaceted characters, and a plausibility rare to the genre, Abrahams’ latest beats you senseless and leaves you for dead. Great, huh? When a budget crunch squeezes out his school’s baseball program, 16-year-old Wyatt moves across the state to take advantage of another school’s team. It’s there that he meets Greer—a few years older, beautiful, and equipped with wildly fluctuating mood swings. The frequent arguments between the two are the book’s heart, skipping fluently and believably between impatience, attraction, desperation, and hope. Like almost all characters in the book, Greer’s good/bad status is perpetually in doubt, especially when her incarcerated dad helps arrange a meeting between Wyatt and his biological father, who also resides in the local prison. When Wyatt begins to suspect his father’s innocence, he gets curious—and in trouble. Edgier and sexier than most YA novels dare, Abrahams’ thriller wrenches guts with a Richard Price–like facility. Readers will be as irretrievably drawn in as Wyatt. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus
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