Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
This intriguing but slight character study is built around the first-person account of a teenager returning to his family nine years after strangers lured him into the backseat of a car and drove away. It's emotionally rich territory, but the setup is highly improbable. Authorities reunite 16-year-old Ethan De Wilde with his family mere hours after he makes his claim, forgoing background and DNA checks. Ethan is enrolled in school the following week without placement testing or counseling. Presumably, McMann (Cryer's Cross) has confirmed that such casual handling of a victimized family is possible, but the impression remains that the unlikely scenario has been created to suit her plot twists. Ethan's voice is convincing, even compelling at times, but too many opportunities arise over the course of the novel for readers to notice what McMann is not letting Ethan say. In a work of short fiction, these elements could have succeeded or been ignored. As is, though, the ending feels a bit deceptive. Ages 14-up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Seven-year-old Ethan was abducted from his front yard while playing with his little brother. Now he's 16 and miraculously returns to his family. He can recall very little about his life before the abduction, and struggles to transition back into a "normal" family routine. He has to learn how to live with a family he doesn't know and is faced with interviews from the press, meeting relatives he can't remember, and the angst of going back to school. When his brother is assigned a school project on genetics, a difference between them is revealed and suspicions arise about Ethan's heritage. A romance with Cami, Ethan's best friend from before the abduction, offers additional appeal for teens. Realistic and at times raw, Lisa McMann's novel (Simon Pulse, 2012) sheds some light on a topic too often in the news today. Aaron Tveit provides a believable performance, drawing listeners into this suspenseful story and its shocking conclusion.-Lyn Gebhard, Sparta Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Abducted at age seven, Ethan Manuel De Wilde grew up with a woman who loved him but couldn't take care of him, ultimately leaving him in an orphanage. After running away and living on the streets, he finds a photo of himself while searching a website for missing children. Now 16, he returns to his loving family but finds it difficult to reestablish relationships, especially with his younger brother, Blake, who doesn't believe he's the real Ethan. McMann piercingly depicts Ethan's mental illness as he suffers from anxiety attacks, bonds with his new little sister, and fails to understand why he has no memories of life with his real family. And there's the ethical issue: if he isn't who he thinks he is, what should he do? The bitter cold of a Minnesota winter serves as both metaphor and backdrop for a riveting read that is like the dark side of Caroline B. Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton (1990). A realistic but shocking ending makes this an excellent choice for book discussion, and the simple sentence structure and complex content will appeal to reluctant readers.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Nine years after being abducted from his front yard, sixteen-year-old Ethan has been recovered and returned to his birth family. But huge holes in his memory may hide a truth that no one was anticipating. McMann asks readers to suspend significant disbelief in this intriguingly premised novel. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
(Suspense. 13 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.