THE DAY I KILLED JAMES by Catherine Ryan Hyde

THE DAY I KILLED JAMES

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Theresa knew James totally loved her but used him anyway; she never expected he’d kill himself when she broke his heart at a graduation party. Theresa vows never to let anyone love her again. She shaves her head, changes her name, picks up a serious smoking habit and moves to a trailer park—telling no one. Theresa’s self-reinvention is shocking but believable: Her toxic guilt spreads across each page. Journal entries and brief chapters keep readers engaged, offering condensed looks at Theresa’s fits of self-flagellation. Predictable resolutions dilute Hyde’s tightly knit character and surging plot. A homeless, scrappy child surfaces squarely in front of Theresa as a means of redemption, and a road trip heals them both. Readers will find themselves preoccupied not with these weaknesses, however, but with the quiet, powerful admonition that permeates and saves this novel: Be careful with other people’s hearts. Teens who have experienced crushing rejection or who have laughed at the ardent feelings of a classmate will devour this original, gripping story. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 13th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-84158-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2008




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