This book (with it’s 367-pages of brilliance) came as a semi-surprise. You know when you request a book but you’re pretty extra sure you won’t get it and then you do? THIS IS LIKE THAT.
Thanks Allen & Unwin for the review copy! Dead Ends by Erin Lange hits shelves in Australia this April! You can stalk it at the Allen & Unwin website, too.
Dane Washington and Billy D. couldn’t be more different. Dane is clever and popular, but he’s also a violent rebel. Billy D. has Down’s syndrome, plays by the rules and hangs out with teachers in his lunch break.
But Dane and Billy have more in common than they think – both their fathers are missing.
They’re going to have to suck up their differences and get on with helping each other. There are answers to be found.
That. was. AWESOME.
I get worried when books get compared to famous authors. The cover on DEAD ENDS says “From the novelist being compared to R.J. Palacio and John Green”. Um. Those are big shoes to fill, okay?! Why do they do that?? While I think DEAD ENDS is fabulous and I love it to bits…I don’t think it tops John-Green-ish-ness.
The alternate title for this book is: Let’s Represent the Minorities!
I do love how well the minorities were represented (they get forgotten a lot in books sometimes). Billy D has Down’s syndrome, Seely has two dads, Dane’s mother was pregnant at 15, aaaand the list goes on! It’s awesome to look at lives from different angles.
Okay, so let’s talk about bullying. Dane is a bully. He hits kids…but you know what? He has reasons. I’m not saying they’re “good” or “right” reasons! What I’m saying is: Dane isn’t a mindless oaf who beats up kids and acts like a loser. He has great school marks. He’s going to college. He is super polite and caring to his mother. I love, absolutely LOVE, how this book squashes the whole “bullies are stupid jocks”, because no one is shallow. Heeeey, I’m not condoning bullies, either! I’m just saying they’re actually people with braincells too.
I’m a sucker for awesome dialogue, and DEAD ENDS sure rules in the witty dialogue category. It’s funny! The banter is smooth and natural. I laughed! Peoples, I actually LAUGHED OUT LOUD. One exchange between Billy D and Dane made my mind explode with the awesome and I had to put the book down and just appreciate how talented the author is.
Soooo, what do I want to complain about? Um, nothing. Not a thing. It’s not the most mind-blowing book I’ve ever read, but I had zero problems with it and I think it deserves every shiny corner of it’s 5-star sticker.
OH WAIT. I do have one thing to complain about. The ending. Noooooo. Thanks for making me sob.
I LOVE THIS BOOK. I loved learning about people with Down’s syndrome and about people who are bullies and about people who are searching for missing dads. It’s sweet and sad. It’s awesome.
Cait is supposed to be editing her vlog, but instead she’s pinning GIFS of Lilo and Stitch. She’s also watching nervously as Mime reads the latest revisions of her book. That’s torture. Why does Mime read so slow?! Why does this editing thing take so loooooong?! Excuse us, Cait needs to go sob. Currently, she’s reading chocolate wrappers. No reason why.