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YOU by Charles Benoit

YOU

By Charles Benoit

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-194704-9
Publisher: HarperTeen

Quiet, hoodie-wearing slacker Kyle Chase has anger-control issues and wants to be left alone by his teachers, his parents and the rest of the world. He’s constantly in trouble at school, and he spends most of his time hanging out with his similarly washed-up friends or pining after his crush. That is, until he meets Zack, a mysteriously manipulative bon vivant who takes him under his wing. At first Zack’s schemes seem harmless—especially when they protect Kyle—but when they turn dangerous, Kyle finds he’s in too deep to escape. Told completely in the second person, Benoit’s first YA effort reads sharply and seamlessly, full of staccato, cut-to-the-action prose that will rivet teen readers à la Gail Giles or Kate Morgenroth. Readers will know that a train wreck is inevitable, and clever foreshadowing hints at Kyle’s eventual downfall. Characters are all fully fleshed, with the exception of Kyle’s parents, who sound more like adults in a Peanuts comic strip than parents. The novel’s disturbing, ambiguous conclusion will provoke discussions about choices, right/wrong and responsibility. Harrowing. (Fiction. 12 & up)