From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Robbie witnesses a murder, and his friend Boone convinces him not to go to the police or tell anyone else. When Robbie is killed soon afterward, Boone has to decide if keeping silent is really the best thing to do, especially since it didn't save his friend. This book is filled with mixed messages that will be loud and clear to teens. On the one hand, if you see something, you should say something or suffer the consequences. But on the other hand, if you do say something you might get killed anyway. Little by little, readers start to get some insight into why Boone is so reluctant to speak out-his mother tried to right an injustice (telling the cops about her boss) and was killed soon afterward. But this insight might come a little too late for readers to find sympathy for Boone, who spends most of the story lying to everyone. Deas's rough artwork is predominantly in black and white, with occasional jarring splashes of red. The action is fast paced, and even the drawings feel frenetic at times. As more and more characters die, the mixed messages ultimately resolve into The Thing That Boone Is Supposed To Do, which he ultimately does. But by then, several characters (and perhaps also some readers) have already judged Boone for the deadly consequences of his inactions and decided that he is past the point of redemption.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
McClintock, author of a variety of well-plotted and easy-to-read teen novels, turns her hand to writing a graphic novel that shows her customary concerns with character development, fast and abrupt action, and the effectiveness of showing different viewpoints. Deas’ dramatic black-and-white artwork is splashed with a bright blood red spilled across those panels where violence occurs. The story demonstrates the dark power of eyewitnesses who, either through a code of silence or fear of reprisal, don’t share information when murder is committed. As McClintock and Deas show, however, the perpetrators of the violence hold the greatest power when they experience uncontested dominance over both the direct victim and the silent witness. Deas doesn’t quite get facial or other physical characteristics distinguished among the teen boys and girls here, but the text provides evidence of who is speaking and how the characters differ in outlook and motivations. An effective thriller that raises questions about the complicity of silence on violence. Grades 7-10. --Francisca Goldsmith