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Wrecked Paperback – April 24, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–Anna is driving a very drunk friend home from a party. Moments into the journey, a head-on collision leaves Ellen with a punctured lung and other serious injuries, Anna with a lacerated eye, and the other driver dead. The dead teen happens to be her brother's girlfriend. Anna clearly remembers Cameron's final screams, and she suffers nightmares. Her father is an emotionally repressed tyrant who at first won't allow his daughter to receive counseling. Frank develops and sustains credible characters whose problems are realistic and interconnected. Brief flashbacks allow readers to become acquainted with Jack as he was before Cameron's death and even as he was when he and Anna were children. Their father's brittle personality is not evil or even cruel, but clearly riddled with flaws bred of deeply held fears. In spite of some plot twists that seem convenient rather than realistic, such as the teens' pre-Thanksgiving trip to Florida with Ellen's parents, this story is compulsively readable both because Anna is likable and imperfect and because Frank's writing is so fluid. Rather than being a didactic anti-drinking or pro-counseling story, this is a psychological drama that is definitely worth teens' time.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. Returning to the mature voices and situations of Life Is Funny (2000) and America (2002), Frank's fourth novel dissects the suffering of teenage Anna, after she survives a drunk-driving accident that leaves her brother's girlfriend dead. Despite a premise that seems plucked from a problem novel, Frank departs from cliches in her portrayal of Anna as an essentially responsible kid (the other driver was drunk) and in her focus on how tragedy can magnify preexisting conflicts. Other elements receive less-nuanced treatment: Anna's emotionally abusive father's explosions of irrational fury seem caricatured, and subplots dealing with homophobia and alcoholism seem insufficiently developed. Frank may also lose readers in the rambling passages stemming from Anna's guided-visualization therapy. Even so, it's fascinating to observe how a proven author can transform a basically sensational plot, even in limited ways. YAs won't soon forget Anna's moving articulations of "panic spreading through [her] blood, like ink in water," or her inability to banish flashbacks to the late-night drive that ended, horrifically, with "screaming, stopped." Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689873840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689873843
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,157,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on October 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One day, Anna goes to a party with her best friend Ellen; there, they drink alcohol and visit the other guests. On her way home, Anna gets into a car accident, seriously injuring Ellen and Cameron Polk, her brother's girlfriend and the most beautiful and popular girl in school. Sadly, Cameron dies from her injuries. Anna blames herself for what has happened and begins having nightmares.

While celebrating Thanksgiving with her aunt and uncle, Anna's family hears about a peculiar form of therapy called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Shortly thereafter, Anna begins seeing a psychologist and learns that she's been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once the EMDR therapy gets underway, Anna begins seeing the real problems in her life --- her relationship with her brother, her low self-esteem, and the fact that her family is living in fear because of her very controlling and abusive father.

WRECKED paints a beautiful and haunting picture by providing readers with a deep understanding of a teenager's mind. Today, thousands of people suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hopefully they will be able to get help like Anna did and learn how to live a normal life again.

--- Reviewed by Ashley Hartlaub
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melundie on July 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read the book in a day; it's a short and easy read. If you can get over the writing flaws and repetitiveness of it the story is a very interesting and thought-provoking glimpse into the mind of a teen girl who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

I do wish the main character, Anne, would have been developed further because I did not find her particularly likable. Her only quality mentioned in the book is how superficial she is. To be completely honest, at times I felt the book dragging on because of its repetitive nature. Additionally, the writing is not great by any stretch of the imagination. The author uses phrases such as "I go" instead of "I said" which I assume is supposed to make you connect better with Anne, but it really distanced and distracted me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Omega Hedgepeth on February 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
E.R. Frank's 2005 novel Wrecked tells the story of Anna, a junior in high school who is the driver of a car involved in an accident that results in the death of Cameron, her bother's girlfriend. Anna and her best friend, Ellen, are on their way back home after leaving a party where Anna drinks a small amount of alcohol at the beginning of the school year. While on their way, Cameron swerves into their lane to avoid hitting a tree branch. The next thing Anna knows, she is upside down in the aftermath of the accident. She hears Cameron screaming, screaming, screaming, and then the screaming stops.

Anna's journey with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the coming months is told from Anna's point of view and is interspersed with allegorical flashbacks to her childhood vacations at the beach. The flashbacks provide telling information detailing Anna's relationships with her father, her brother and her mother--and the family's dynamic as a whole. Anna goes through innovative therapy to sort out her feelings about the accident and how her life has been affected by her father's actions. For this reason, Anna's story is just as much about the evolution of her dysfunctional relationship with her controlling, easily angered father as it is about her coping with the fateful crash. Though Wrecked is slightly anticlimactic and leaves the reader with unresolved feelings, it is nonetheless a captivating and meaningful worthwhile read. Strong language is used and edgy subjects are dealt with, so Wrecked is ideal for readers age thirteen and up.
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Format: Hardcover
Sixteen-year-old Anna was driving her (drunk) best friend home from a party when she collided head-on with her brother's girlfriend's car. Now a beautiful high school senior is dead, Anna nearly lost an eye and suffers from PTSD with crippling nightmares, her best friend Ellen is in a wheelchair, and the family is at odds with one another. Wrecked opens with the car accident and its aftermath, but, as a whole, the book is an exploration of the fabric of an entire family.

Anna's friends and family have widely disparate reactions to the wreck. What is the right way to respond, anyway? Anna can find websites about how to deal with a dying family member, how to be a friend to someone who is grieving, and how to cope if you have suicidal thoughts, but there is no website to address the peculiar situation of how to cope with unintentionally killing one of your peers.

The narration of Wrecked is told in a genuine teenaged voice, full of questions, full of frustration with parents, and desperately seeking direction. In a strange way, the entire crisis brings Anna's family closer, to a more complete understanding of one another.

This book is highly recommended for teens and family members of all ages. It is especially important for anyone dealing with a family crisis or the accidental death of a family friend. Fans of this book should seek out Mary Beth Miller's Aimee and John Green's Looking for Alaska.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book a few years ago and decided to re-read it and give it a review. For it’s simplistic storyline and very straight forward description, this is actually a great read. It is a Young Adult book about a girl named Anna who goes to a party with her best friend, Ellen, and drinks for the first time. After a couple shots and about three hours later, Anna realizes she missed curfew and drives herself and Ellen home. On the way, Anna and Ellen get into a serious car accident. All Anna can remember is a U2 song playing the same lyrics over and over, a terrible smacking sound, and her best friend Ellen laying in her lap, bloody. She keeps hearing screaming, not knowing who it is, and then eventually passes out. After she wakes up, she learns that Ellen is in the intensive care unit with a collapsed lung, a broken leg, and multiple broken ribs. She also learns that there was another car involved in the accident, and that the driver was her brother Jack’s girlfriend, Cameron..who ended up dying shortly after impact.

We have all read news articles and heard stories about someone that was drinking, getting into a car accident and killing another car full of people, and then walking away unharmed. Anna has some blood in her eye afterwards and has to wear an eye protector, but walks away with hardly any physical damage. Which of course doesn’t help the guilt that she is feeling after almost killing her best friend and ACTUALLY killing her brother’s girlfriend. This story takes you through Anna dealing with the emotional pain and blaming herself for everything that happened, while all the while trying to ensure that her brother can forgive her.
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