2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Solid, intelligent writing for teens,
This review is from: Chinese Handcuffs (Laurel Leaf Books) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a thoughtful book for teens that is similar to the writings of Paul Zindel (The Pigman).
The colorfully named Jennifer Lawless and Dillon Hemingway are two high-schoolers who are each struggling with a deep dark secret that belies the calm faces they show to their teachers and peers. Dillon is haunted by the memory of his brother, who shot himself in front of Dillon. Jennifer is living with a child-molesting monster, and she fears that his attention will soon be transplanted from herself to her younger sister, Dawn.
Parts of the book are letters that Dillon writes to his dead brother, which gives us some interesting first-person narrative, and also reminds us of the depth to which Dillon is affected by the death.
Another nice thing is that both Jennifer and Dillon are hardcore student-athletes, which is a little different from the steretypical outcast who is usually featured in books for teens. This might make the book a little more attractive to the non-bookworms out there who are willing to give a serious book a shot.
Overall, I recommend this book. It's thoughtful, exciting in parts, well-written, and interesting. The characters are not as in-depth as they could have been, which limits the level of emotional connection we can feel to them, but they aren't half bad, either.