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THE LAST THING I REMEMBER by Andrew Klavan

THE LAST THING I REMEMBER

The Homelanders, Volume One

By Andrew Klavan

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 28th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59554-607-4
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

When high schooler Charlie West wakes up in a torture chamber, the last thing he remembers is a normal day. He escapes the torturers who “look foreign” only to find he’s wanted for the murder of his former friend Alex, who’d fallen in with a bad crowd and lost his faith. Captured by the police, Charlie escapes with the help of persons unknown and stops a plot to kill the Secretary of Homeland Security before racing off to clear his name. Edgar winner Klavan’s first of a series for teens could not be more of a mess. His idea of high school seems to come entirely from after-school specials, and the characters never rise above clichés. The tension surrounding Charlie’s escape in the first half is continually undercut by alternating chapters of told-not-shown memories of his previous life; the ending is not so much a cliffhanger as an abrupt termination of the story in midstream. This jingoistic paranoia might still play in some quarters, but it is to be hoped that its time is passing. Save your thriller dollars for better. (Thriller. YA)