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Inexcusable Paperback – May 8, 2007

3.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This raw and powerful book will hammer its way into your heart and haunt you. The world needs this story. And you want to read it -- trust me." (Laurie Halse Anderson, Printz Honor-Winning Author of Speak)

"Chris Lynch is the best pure YA writer we have -- he has the guts, he has the chops, and like his readers, he'll take a close look at anything. Inexcusable is irresistible, in its limning of the spaces between brutality and grace, between the soul and the law. Start at page one -- you'll never stop." (Bruce Brooks, Newbery Honor-Winning Author of The Moves Make the Man)

"Inexcusable is a not-to-be-missed chapter in the anthropology of ritual male dating behavior. From the first phrase to the last phrase, Chris Lynch creates a character with such flawless self-deception that the reader mistakes being seduced with being stalked. In the end you become the books trophy, and you'll find your head mounted on the cover." (Jack Gantos, Printz Honor-Winning Author of Hole In My Life)

*"A finely crafted and thought-provoking page-turner" (School Library Journal, starred review)

*"Expertly drawn...A nuanced, wholly believable character that will leave many readers shaking with recognition...Unforgettable." (Booklist, starred review)

*"Lynch hits a home run with this provocative, important read." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"An interesting companion piece to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak." (KLIATT)

*"With his portrait of Keir, Lynch makes it nearly impossible for readers to see the world in black-and-white terms. This book is guaranteed to prompt heated discussions." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

*"Lynch's masterful exploration of the difference between perception and reality is fascinating. Teens will reread this short but complex story debating the issues of violence and responsibility." (VOYA, starred review)

About the Author

Chris Lynch is the Printz Honor Award–winning author of several highly acclaimed young adult novels, including Printz Honor Book Freewill, Iceman, Gypsy Davy, and Shadow Boxer—all ALA Best Books for Young Adults—as well as Killing Time in Crystal City, Little Blue Lies, Pieces, Kill Switch, Angry Young Man, and Inexcusable, which was a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of six starred reviews. He holds an MA from the writing program at Emerson College. He teaches in the Creative Writing MFA program at Lesley University. He lives in Boston and in Scotland.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416939725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416939726
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
An important subject to be discussed, Inexcusable looks at rape from the rapists point of view.

Told primarily through flashbacks after the rape the story focuses on Keir, who is initially portrayed as a boy with strong family values and work ethic. He is extremely close to his father, misses his deceased mother, and longs for his live away sisters to be home more often. Relatively popular at school he plays for the football team and is accepted among the in-crowd. But this, the reader learns, is all a facade.

In reality Keir is emotionally unstable, in fact at certain points he is deluded, and lacking any degree of genuine self-realization. I personally felt like he had an undiagnosed personality disorder. He clearly believes himself to be a much different person than he is. It is this delusion that makes the story so disturbing, Keir honestly doesn't believe he's done anything wrong. He thinks that if he can just make Gigi see things his way he'll some how be able to convince her that she's consented to sex. I wanted to believe that he `s just so deep in denial that he can't bring himself to admit to what he's done and what he needs to face but really I think he simply believed it was true. That is what makes the portions of the book where he and Gigi are interacting after the fact the most chilling.

Interestingly enough, his family (primarily his sisters) and his future victim recognize his true nature. Through their eyes the reader is given a clearer picture about the root of Keir's personality. That he really isn't all he believes himself cracked up to be. Of equal interest is the role his father plays in all of this. Feeding the boy's delusion he is so desperate to maintain a connection to his child that he continually fosters the "good boy" image.
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Format: Paperback
He plays football and soccer well enough to be noticed by college scouts, he loves his two older sisters and can’t wait to go to the same college they do so they can live together again and his best friend is his dad. Kier knows right from wrong and when someone he loves gets hurt he feels just as badly as if he were the one injured. So he can’t understand why GiGi Boudakian is saying what she’s saying he did. Because good guys don’t do what she says he did. And Kier is a good guy. Yeah, he knows how to party, but he knows when enough is enough and he loves GiGi Boudakian. He’s loved her since they were six. He couldn’t have done what she says he did to someone he loved…In this young adult novel, Kier narrates the story of his last year in high school and all the events leading up to the night in question, when Killer Kier (so named because of an accident on the football field) finds out that sometimes the way we see reality isn’t the way it really is. A provocative story about something that happens more frequently than we’d like to admit. Recommended for fifteen and up, this would be an excellent book to stimulate discussions in the classroom or with teens in your family.
When I heard this was a book about date rape from the rapist’s point of view I was hesitant to pick it up—thinking the author would try to make us feel sorry for the protagonist, but instead Lynch gives a believable portrait of a young man who believes he can do no wrong. At first, I was livid, but eventually I came round to think this book should be read by every teenager—male and female.
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Format: Paperback
I’m finding it hard to collect my thoughts on this novel. After I finished reading it, my first thought was that the novel was different, as the events that occurred, all seemed to be implied. I never really felt like I had a firm grip on what actually transpired in the novel. I was piecing the events together from reactions and comments made by the characters. I felt muddled. Keir, now he was an interesting guy. I believe that I lived across the street from a boy like him growing up. We only played with him if we needed another person or he came and found us as we always had to do things his way. Keir believed that once he had the image of “being good”, he was excusable for just about anything that he did. For now he was now a force to be reckoned with. The questionable hit that he made during the football game is now under review yet Keir knows it’s not his fault and while others contemplate his actions, he knows he did no wrong. It’s this cockiness and high self-image that starts to creep into the novel and I am reminded of the saying my grandma used to say, “He’s getting too big for his britches.” There are always too sides to every story and there are a few stories that need addressing in Inexcusable. Someone’s image shouldn’t make their story more creditable but to some individuals they don’t see it that way. The novel is composed with short sentences which makes a point. The story is rigid and sharp, keeping you in a rhythm as you read. I was not in love with it, just touching on the edge of like.
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Format: Paperback
Keir views himself as a good guy. He gets scholarships, plays ball, is a son to a widower, is a brother to two older sisters...an all-around good guy. Even when he's doing bad things--like hurting an opposing football player--he still thinks he's a pretty decent fellow. Then he does the unthinkable. He rapes his friend Gigi, who he thinks he loves, and after the horrifying event he believes he's done nothing wrong.

This is an interesting novel with an unreliable narrator. I didn't really connect with Keir during the first half of the book, but as I read on I became more engrossed with his mindset and the action of the novel. I wasn't sure if I was going to rate it 3 or 4 stars. For me, it's more of a 3.5.
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