Monday, September 2, 2013

Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: September 3rd
Source: Ebook for review
Genre: Contemporary

Dane Washington is one suspension away from expulsion. In a high school full of “haves,” being a “have not” makes Dane feel like life is hurtling toward one big dead end. Billy D. spends his high school days in Special Ed and he’s not exactly a “have” himself. The biggest thing Billy’s missing? His dad. Billy is sure the riddles his father left in an atlas are really clues to finding him again and through a bizarre turn of events, he talks Dane into joining him on the search.
A bully and a boy with Down syndrome makes for an unlikely friendship, but together, they work through the clues, leading to unmarked towns and secrets of the past. But they’re all dead ends. Until the final clue . . . and a secret Billy shouldn’t have been keeping.
As a journalist, Erin Jade Lange is inspired by hot button issues like bullying, but it is her honest characters and breakneck plotting that make Dead Ends a must-read.

I first heard about this book around the time that the cover was released. I didn't know very much about the story when I picked it up, but once I did I slowly fell in love with this book. This book was adorable and fun, but at the same time it was deep and thought provoking as it touched some tough subjects including bullying and abuse.

The main character, Dane, is a bully- plain and simple. The first chapter of the book really left me with a dark first impression of Dane; I started out very cautious going into this story. Slowly as I got to know him, Dane became a more three dimensional character- with feelings behind his actions. Once more was revealed about him the book gives some incite into why exactly he does what he does. I really enjoy how this book tackled the subject of bullies and bullying. The book gave a view on bullying without placing blame or pointing fingers, and letting readers inside the head of a bully. This book shows that bullies aren't always bad people; bullies can have soft sides; they have a story to tell.

One of the biggest turning points in Dane's life is when he is introduced to Billy D. Billy is new boy on Dane's street, and Billy has Down Syndrome. Billy and Dane first meet when Billy runs into Dane as Dane is beating another boy up. In their first conversation, Billy is able to make Dane think twice; he makes Dane question why he does what he does. I absolutely love Billy. Billy is an extremely smart character who seems to know how to get his way with anything. Though he could be a very frustrating character at times I really enjoyed reading about him. It was really heart warming to see just how much Dane cared about Billy. Dane was in at a bit of a dead end in his life himself, and Billy helped him get back on track; their friendship helped change both of their lives.

The story itself wasn't extremely captivating. I was more interested in the characters and their development than their journey to find their fathers, but the story was what built their relationship, and I still found it interesting. It was a great way to learn more about the characters and where they come from.

This book was everything from beautiful to frustrating, adorable to scary. This book wasn't perfect, yet that is what made it perfect. I adored this story, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys  contemporary stories.

1 comment:

  1. Yes to all of this! While I enjoyed this book's story, the characters are the best part and watching them grow is fascinating. Dane is one of those "bad guys" who the author allows you to understand and forces you to feel sympathy toward. He and Billy D. highlight each other's best and worst aspects, making them one of the best collection of characters ever.

    I'm glad you enjoyed these characters as much as I did!