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THE LESS-DEAD by April Lurie


by April Lurie

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-73675-6
Publisher: Delacorte

When his new friend and two other gay homeless teens are murdered, Noah, a nearly burned-out musician with a penchant for partying and a radio evangelist for a dad, decides to investigate the case. The Bible provides a heavy-handed and formidable backdrop: Arguments are waged, Christian rock concerts are attended, grisly murders occur and fingers are pointed. Other tensions arise between Noah, who likes girls, and his new friend (and a murder victim) Will, who likes boys. At the most basic level, Lurie has wrought a compelling, edge-of-your-seat, thriller that will keep readers riveted to the end, even if they can identify the killer early on. Her characters are for the most part believably developed and will help readers maintain the suspension of disbelief they’ll need in order to buy the plot. At times the religious themes feel didactic, but when the author adds everything up, the results fall somewhere between a fun, campy, teen horror film and a better-than-average afterschool special. (Mystery. YA)