Monday, March 19, 2012

Dead to You by Lisa McMann

Dead to You by Lisa McMann
Release Date –  February 7, 2012
Publisher Website –  Simon Pulse
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 243 pages
My Rating- 8/10
**obtained from blogger meet up **

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...
I had only read one Lisa McMann book previous to this, which is Cryer’s Cross. If you read my review you’ll know it wasn’t really the book for me. Dead To You, however, was simply enthralling from the very first page.

The story premise may sound simple - a young boy is kidnapped and years later is returned to his family. The complexity comes from the emotions each of the family members face while adjusting to Ethan’s presence, while trying to bring back some form of  normalcy to their lives. The feelings range from relief, guilt, resentment, and everyone is just overwhelmed.  Media crews, family fights, and accusations put everyone on edge. It’s an all too realistic portrait of what a family might face in this type of situation.

Ethan will pull at your heart strings. He has had a tough life, and feels conflicted about not remembering his family. He still cares about the woman who essentially raised him and he is just doing his best to fit back into his life.

Blake his younger brother still feels bitter about the fact that Ethan got into the car that fateful day. He wants to know why Ethan did it and feels that Ethan is responsible for tearing the family apart. He is also suspicious of Ethan’s memory loss and even voices his opinion that he doesn’t believe that the real Ethan has returned to them.

Gracie the sweet younger sister is met with a little resentment on Ethan’s part. He feels she is a “replacement child” for him after he went missing. Once Ethan bonds with her they end up having very sweet relationship. She’s the one person in the family that accepts Ethan and didn’t know him from before. She was cute, and I really liked her and she brought out another side to Ethan that was refreshing to see.

The ending packs a punch and will leave you heartbroken. Lisa manages to convey the utter devastation the ending brings with just a few paragraphs. While the ending was one I thought of while reading the book, the twist Lisa puts on it keeps it fresh and surprising.

This book made me want to reach out and hug my young nieces and hold them tight. A missing child is pretty much the worst nightmare a family can go through, and as Lisa shows in this haunting novel, the devastation and heartache caused from something like this will impact a family forever, no matter what the outcome.


  1. I am loving how much emotion this book appears to evoke. It really sounds as though Lisa brilliantly conveyed the emotions of this tragedy and also pulled the reader along with the characters. Cryer's Cross is the only book of Lisa's I've read so far, but I actually really liked it, so I'm hopeful that I'll enjoy this one just as much! You've made me even more eager to read it now. Fantastic review, Kathy!

  2. This sounds SO GOOD! I really love reading about the after-effects of a certain life-changing event on the structure and relationships of people and their lives. This sounds like such an emotional book and as it should be, considering the topic! I definitely want to read this soon :) Thanks for the awesome review!


  3. Glad to see that you enjoyed this as well. I love Lisa McMann, she's one of my most favorite authors. (Even though I stilllll haven't read Cryers Cross. lol) I am really looking forward to checking this one out!

  4. Great review Kathy! I really enjoyed Dead To You and I am a huge fan of Lisa McMann. You have to read her Wake series! It is amazing.

    The ending of Dead To You was heartbreaking, and I always praise McMann for being able to pack so much punch in a few pages!


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