FALL FROM GRACE by Charles Benoit


Age Range: 14 & up
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Lies, lust and betrayal just don't add up fast enough.

On the outside, high schooler Sawyer seems to be gliding through life. He’s focused; he’s got good grades, a hot girlfriend and plans for college. On the inside, however, he feels trapped by his parents' expectations and the tight leash his girlfriend keeps around his neck. Enter Grace Sherman, a smooth-talking, resourceful, quick-witted girl from another high school whose presence infuses him with excitement and a sense of danger. She’s cool but weird enough to be sexy. What’s more, she’s hell-bent on stealing a painting from the local library, and she needs Sawyer’s help. Benoit’s second teen effort is just as tightly crafted as his first (You, 2010). Characterizations are solidly constructed, and the plot moves methodically as Sawyer is pulled deeper into Grace’s plan. Despite Benoit’s ability to pull all of these elements together, the novel is missing a hook, which is what made his first so effortlessly terrifying. Art theft as a concept may not pique the interests of teen readers, especially those looking for a body count. The tension also builds slowly—more than half of the novel is given over to building up Sawyer’s relationship with Grace. It’s definitely an intriguing pairing, but less-patient readers will be flipping pages to get to the action.

A slow-build, film-noir high-school drama. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-194707-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2012


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