Carolee Dean is the author of Forget Me Not, Take Me There, and Comfort. She lives with her family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she works with teenagers as a speech pathologist. Find out more at CaroleeDean.com.
Gr 9 Up-Dylan Dawson, 17, is trying to stay on the right path. After a stint in juvenile hall for possession of stolen property, he's keeping his distance from gang activity and wants to do well at his job. However, it seems everything is going against him: a dad in prison, an alcoholic mom, and, on top of that, he can't read. He seeks solace in poems, and in Jess, a rich-girl love interest. Inevitably, he finds himself in a bad situation, running from the law and the gang, and headed to Texas to discover the truth about his father's trangression and his unknown past. Dean deftly portrays Dylan's tough-guy exterior along with his soft side through the poetry that floats in his head and is interspersed throughout the novel. The supporting characters, including a loyal but none-too-wise best friend and surly grandmother, are well drawn and believable. The story moves quickly as the mystery of Dylan's father's crime unfolds, partially revealed through chapters of a memoir the man wrote in prison and spurred on by his impending execution. At times, the book's message is a bit too obvious, but readers will empathize with Dylan, who is sincere in a desire to reform but can't seem to escape his circumstances.-Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Dylan is a deep and conflicted character who confronts problems
other young adults often face. Many readers will recognize
themselves in some of Dylan's traits and actions, and won't be able
to put the book down."
--VOYA, August 2010