Review: Dead To You by Lisa McMann

Dead To You
By Lisa McMann
243 Pages
Simon Pulse

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…

Dead To You is a book that makes you question what you would do and how you would act in terrible circumstances. So while some of the characters make what seem at first to be dumb or terrible decisions and you initially want to scream at them for their actions, when you give it some thought you really start to wonder how you would behave given the same situation. And while the book poses the questions, it doesn’t offer any answers. It leaves it up to the reader to determine where their sympathies lie. It’s hard not to feel for Ethan, unreliable narrator that he is.

Dead To You is not an easy or an uplifting book. It’s not meant to be a fairy tale or a happily ever after story. It’s a gritty look inside a broken family dealing with the tragic aftermath of child abduction. And frankly, it made me really glad that I’ m not a parent. I can only imagine what going through this stuff would feel like.

McMann’s writing is plain and to the point, and that’s not a criticism. It’s a positive, especially in a book like this. It’s stripped down and the opposite of flowery. She gets the point across with few extra words. It’s sparse and emotional, and recommended reading.

4/5 Stars.

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  1. This reminds me of the book/movie The Deep End of the Ocean. It was great and a very important subject, but emotionally difficult. I may read this at some point. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I read her one trilogy… was it wake? I think it was something like that. I liked it.. I have heard mixed things about this one.

    Being a mom, I’m wondering if I would have trouble with this one. I have seen first hand what tragedies can do to a family. It’s not pretty. Glad to see the Author didn’t sugar coat anything. I may pick this one up someday when I’m feeling all deep and shit. lol


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