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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from My Overstuffed Bookshelf
I am a huge fan of author Lisa McMann after reading her Wake trilogy last year. So when I heard about this book through other readers and noticed it was available through the Amazon Vine program, I jumped on the chance to read and review it early. I did the fan girl squee and clicked accept on my Amazon page. When it arrived, I dropped everything to read this book and...
Published on January 28, 2012 by A. Jacobs

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So confused!
Oh my! My brain is spinning with this book! I am such a loss for words because everything I thought I felt was completely obliterated in the last 3 pages.
The story is about Ethan, a boy who was abducted when he was seven from the front of his house and who has returned home at the age of sixteen. In the beginning of the book I felt so bad for him. He was trying...
Published on January 24, 2012 by Book lover


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from My Overstuffed Bookshelf, January 28, 2012
This review is from: Dead to You (Hardcover)
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I am a huge fan of author Lisa McMann after reading her Wake trilogy last year. So when I heard about this book through other readers and noticed it was available through the Amazon Vine program, I jumped on the chance to read and review it early. I did the fan girl squee and clicked accept on my Amazon page. When it arrived, I dropped everything to read this book and even stayed up late just to finish it.

When we start with the first chapter, we are reading about Ethan being reunited with his family after being abducted nine years ago. To say that it is an emotional reunion is an understatement. You can feel the pain that the parents have gone through and have dealt with over the years. They are so excited to have him home that they even accept him on looks alone without agreeing to do the DNA test that the social worker offers to them. When you are reading the book, we are reading from Ethan's point of view and the emotions that he is struggling with. He doesn't remember anything from his time before the abduction and he is desperate to remember anything. He studies the family photos and tries to make something click in his brain so he has something real to remember instead of shared memories from family and friends.

When his younger brother Blake starts studying genetic traits in his science class at school, he starts to piece together some disturbing facts about Ethan. Blake never truly believed that Ethan is the real Ethan. Reading the story, you don't really know what to think about this. At some points you are like Blake and questioning Ethan's true identity, but other times you are believing that it truly is Ethan. When it is revealed at the end of the book, you are shocked and frustrated with the close of the story. It is left in a cliffhanger-like ending that makes you wish there were at least a few more chapters of closure. At this time, I do not know if the author is going to write a sequel to this book, but after the ending she has left the reader with, I hope she seriously thinks about writing it! I would love to learn more about Ethan and his story that follows after the reveal at the end of the book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So confused!, January 24, 2012
By 
Book lover (Friendswood, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead to You (Hardcover)
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Oh my! My brain is spinning with this book! I am such a loss for words because everything I thought I felt was completely obliterated in the last 3 pages.
The story is about Ethan, a boy who was abducted when he was seven from the front of his house and who has returned home at the age of sixteen. In the beginning of the book I felt so bad for him. He was trying so hard to fit in and forget his old life with his abductor Ellen. It felt so real. Then towards the middle the story took a weird turn and Ethan started becoming involved with the neighbor girl who was his best friend when he was seven. The romance just felt outta place with all that was going on with him returning home. Then a bombshell gets dropped and we the reader are seriously left hanging! I don't even know what to do with those last three pages! It feels like there should be a sequel coming and I don't think there is one.
The characters all seemed okay. I really liked Ethan and how he interacted with Gracie his six year old sister. They were so sweet together. Even his scenes with Cami, his love interest, were fun to read. They were just out of place in my opinion. The other characters like I said were okay and they all brought something different to the story so as far as character development I was actually connected to all of them. My problem just lies within the story itself and the strange turn it took.
I really hope that there is a sequel. I think I have said that about every Lisa McMann book because they all feel so unfinished.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, not McMann's best, February 9, 2012
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This review is from: Dead to You (Hardcover)
Ethan was kidnapped when he was seven years old. Now sixteen, he has finally found his way back to his family, but he doesn't remember them or his life before. This lapse in memory makes it hard for him to fit back in after a nine year absence--his parents are supportive but tend to smother him, his younger brother is angry all the time and isn't welcoming at all, and his six-year-old sister feels like his replacement. Everyone is trying to make things work, but there's a secret being kept--one that, if revealed, could wreak havoc on the family once more.

Lisa McMann's latest book may not have the supernatural elements that fans have come to expect in her work, but it has all of the trademark suspense, mystery, and sharp, direct narrative that make her novels so readable. She hooks you in right away with this intriguing premise, and Ethan's voice. Ethan is a bit damaged--he's been through a lot, and not being able to remember his family is tough. What's even harder are his good memories of Ellen, the woman who took care of him for so many years, when everyone wants to make her out to be a hardened criminal. He desperately wants to fit into his new family life, but his temper and conflicting emotions make the adjustment hard. All the while there remains the mystery of what has really happened to Ethan throughout the last nine years beyond the basic story he tells everyone, and why he willingly went with his kidnapper that fateful day long ago. As you delve deeper into the story, you'll begin to slowly doubt Ethan and race to the end to find out the truth about what happened--with some shocking answers. McMann's abrupt ending adds to the surprise of the final revelation, and definitely makes it memorable--so much so that readers will forgive her for not revealing more details. Fans of McMann won't want to miss Dead to You, and reluctant readers will zip right through it.

Cover Comments: I like this perspective, and the close up of the snow on the face and lashes--it's cool and little bit eerie!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional wrecking ball, February 13, 2012
This review is from: Dead to You (Hardcover)
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Oh my! This book managed to tear my heart in two in just 256 pages. An abducted child is reunited with his family many years after he had disappeared. You'd expect all rainbows and sunshine, but this is not the case. This novel was ridden with angst. I don't usually enjoy angsty YA, but it felt right in Dead To You. Angst was almost necessary. These characters had been through so much. I loved watching this family heal, then shatter, only to heal again.

I applaud McMann for writing a YA novel from the point of view of a teen boy. Not only did she write it, she did an amazing job at it. Such a rarity in YA unfortunately. We really need more male protags. This book is shorter than most, but still encompasses the depth and detail of a much longer novel. I was completely invested in Ethan's story. I loved the characters even when I didn't agree with their choices. The plot was fast paced and the suspense kept me reading. I didn't want to put this book down. The ending is a killer. I hope she plans to write a follow up because I'm dying to know what happened next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ends before it begins, February 17, 2012
By 
Irish of Ticket to anywhere (Central MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead to You (Hardcover)
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***As Originally posted on my blog TickettoAnywhere(Dot)Net***

Dead to You is Lisa McMann's newest novel and I was very excited about when I read about the premise - a teen boy who was kidnapped as a child coming home to his family. It reminded me a bit of a book that I read when I was a teen, The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B Cooney, only from a male perspective. I found Dead to You to be a really quick read with short chapters (always a reader's downfall) and a story that had just enough hook to make you want to keep turning the pages.

The narrative is a stream of conscience format from Ethan's point of view as he adjusts to returning home and all the difficulties that he and his family face. When reading books I always enjoy being inside of a characters head, seeing and feeling, what they feel as they feel it. My problem with Ethan was that I didn't always get the boy vibe. There were times when I thought that McMann may have been trying too hard to make Ethan's voice sound like a boy and for me it just came across as too forced and fake. I also felt that they story didn't dig deep enough into all the emotions that it could have. There always seemed to be this distance between what was happening and the tension of many scenes never fully materialized for me. It was almost like I was view the story through a glass wall and so everything was just a little muted.

But the kicker for me with the book was the ending. It was a serious WTF sort of ending that left me with a furrowed brow and pretty disappointed. It seemed that just when things were starting to get real it just ended with no resolution. There were more questions left from those last few pages then were raised in the entire first part of the story. Now, with movies I don't mind the occasional open ended ending in which I decide what happens to the characters. But with books, I want a good solid ending. It may not be the ending that I want, but I want the author to end the book. Dead to You, for me at least, doesn't have a real conclusive ending. I think that McMann could have continued on and really dug deep into some emotions and conflicts and made this just ok story into something spectacular.

***As Originally posted on my blog TickettoAnywhere(Dot)Net***
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling story that kept me riveted., February 2, 2012
This review is from: Dead to You (Hardcover)
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Ethan was abducted when he was seven years old. He was playing with chalk on the sidewalk with his younger brother Blake when the car came. Now, he is sixteen years old and finally back to his family. He was with a woman he called Eleanor for several years. She then dropped him off at a group home, where he stayed for a while. Then he ran away and lived off of the streets. He decided he must have belonged to someone, so he combs the missing children files at the local library. He is stunned when he sees his face staring back at him.

His parents are overjoyed to have him back home. He now has a little sister, Gracie, who he calls his replacement but he really likes her. His brother Blake, though, has anger issues and doesn't hesitate in offering his distasteful opinions. He just wishes he could remember them or anything from his past.

Ethan struggles to find his place but he enjoys spending time with his best friend from childhood, Cami. She's beautiful and she listens to him. But things are getting out of hand at home and he thinks maybe he should just leave. He wishes he could remember. He craves the love and family, but at what cost?

Dead To You is a compelling story that lifts the reader from the first page and carries you through-out Ethan's tumultuous journey of self-discovery. Dead To You will have the reader sympathizing for Ethan and his family. McMann does a superb job keeping the plot moving at a swift pace, twisting and turning deftly, until you're gasping for more!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review from So Many Books, So Little Time, February 9, 2012
By 
A. Howell (Windermere, FL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead to You (Hardcover)
This book had such an interesting premise. For some reason the idea of a child being kidnapped and then later reintroduced to his family just fascinated me.

And I actually liked Ethan (usually when the main character is male, I don't care for him). I felt so bad for him and wanted him to be able to feel comfortable with his family again. And I really liked Cami. She didn't treat him like he was either a freak nor a hero. Just a regular boy. But my favorite was Gracie. I teach Kindergarten so I could totally imagine her every move and saying. Too cute!

The end though. Man, I just didn't like it.

***SPOILERS***

'Ethan' not really being 'Ethan' was interesting but I didn't like it. The boy made himself believe he was Ethan so much that he was willing to take a DNA test? I don't buy it! I get that people put tragic things out of their mind without realizing it, but throughout the book he says that he loves Ellen and he remembered going to look at pictures of kidnapped children so I think he'd remember to decided faking being kidnapped. And what happened to the real Ethan? We don't get any of those questions resolved at all.

************** Ok, spoiler done.

So the ending dropped the rating down to a 3. But up until then, I enjoyed it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual style, interesting premise, surprise ending, February 15, 2012
This review is from: Dead to You (Hardcover)
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Before buying this book, you should know that it is written in first person PRESENT tense stream of consciousness style. I've heard that's gaining popularity in YA books. I personally don't care for that narration style and find it very odd to read, but others that enjoy that style make like this one. Either way, it's definitely something I think readers should know before purchasing this book.

The story itself was a very interesting premise and subject matter. It's nice to see darker, more real issues in YA books. The characters are somewhat likable. It is a very quick, short read.

I will not provide any spoilers, but I will say that it is a crazy, shocker, cliff-hanger ending. If you do not like cliff-hanger endings, you will not like this book. All in all, this book seems unresolved to me. It left me wanting more, but not in a good way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Ending Sucks, January 17, 2014
This review is from: Dead to You (Paperback)
This is a copy/paste from my Goodreads review.
Up until the very end I was ready to give this book 4-5 stars. The first paragraph pulls you right in with the suspense of a young boy kidnapped when he 6 years old now reunited with his long-lost family. He's blocked the entire incident from his memory and we go with Ethan as he struggles to find his place in a new environment, new school, friends and favorite childhood places he should remember but can't.
You really want to root for Ethan except his memory block keeps getting in the way and he won't reveal anything to the reader. On the other hand, he has no trouble hiding his dirty mind, mentally undressing any female that crosses his line of vision and frequent use of the f-bomb. He doesn't even have "daymares" like that girl from Face on the Milk Carton and it's frustrating because he doesn't really want to remember anyway. All he WANTS is the girl next door. And he wants to KILL the bratty little brother who keeps trying to blow his...cover? Very mysterious, blame it on the PTSD I suppose.
The story's pacing is good but while Ethan keeps avoiding his kidnapping issues, the reader will begin to take Blake's side, the angry little brother who witnessed the kidnapping and can't understand why Ethan isn't acting like the big brother he vaguely remembers while no one in the family will believe him when he keeps insisting this isn't Ethan.
Then you get hit with the ending and it all makes sense...kind of. So, don't give this book to anyone under the age of 16, be prepared for lots of swearing, some heavy kissing scenes but no sex and a lot of suspense. For a reader from Utah, I wonder what Elizabeth Smart (now Gilmour) would think of this story? Read it just to find out how it ends and try not to get too upset at the author's deception. Perhaps there will be a sequel explaining what really happened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead to You, March 29, 2013
This review is from: Dead to You (Paperback)
Dead to You is the story of Ethan De Wilde, who was abducted from his front yard when he was seven and is reunited with his family when he is sixteen. Ethan has no memory of his childhood, his parents, his younger brother, or the kids who were his friends before his abduction. He had no clue he was even abducted until the idea came to him one day and he began to search missing children on a computer at a library. After being reunited with the De Wildes, they and Ethan struggle to acclimate back into the old family unit.

The story has an interesting premise, but is poorly executed. The author chose to tell the story through Ethan's first person perspective, which greatly limits the narrative and makes all of the other characters in the book one dimensional, especially his parents. The author also failed at creating the right voice for the character. Ethan is a sixteen year old boy who has lived on the streets for two years and had a bad childhood. But not once does this come across in Ethan's voice. The entire narrative feels more like it's being narrated by a girl from an affluent family instead than a boy who has lived on the streets and had to fight for his life. The author also fails to capture any of the street patois Ethan would obviously have picked up on the streets. I've met eight year olds with more attitude than Ethan De Wilde. This is the primary reason I gave the book only one star. The author presents a story as being told directly by a sixteen year old, tough, male but never even comes close to accomplishing this.

Then there is the "twist" ending. To me, it wasn't much of a twist as the author telegraphs it almost from the beginning of the story, and drops enough hints throughout the give it away. Ethan's strange form of amnesia being the most obvious. And as another reviewer stated, the ending is way too abrupt. Things are going along, then boom, "twist" and it's over with no resolution.

And finally, there is Ethan himself. He isn't very likeable or sympathetic; he's whiny at times and a tad creepy.

Not worth paying money for, ending makes the entire story pointless.
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Dead to You
Dead to You by Lisa McMann (Hardcover - February 7, 2012)
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