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ANGRY YOUNG MAN by Chris Lynch


by Chris Lynch

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-689-84790-5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Robert’s younger brother Alexander (Xan) has always been an oddball, but as they shift into adulthood, Robert increasingly worries about Xan’s ability to function in the world in this intense, intelligent work of realistic fiction. The elder brother makes attending community college, having a girlfriend and holding down a job to help their struggling mom pay the bills look effortless. Yet Xan seems to drift through the days, easily influenced by those around him and flailing until he falls in with a radical group of activists, causing Robert to agonize about him even further. Lynch’s depiction of the complex relationship between two brothers is multilayered and fascinating, charged with both loyalty and betrayal. Likewise, Robert’s protectiveness of Xan and his mother is authentically moving—when a slimy bill collector begins harassing his mom, readers will empathize with his outrage. Tension builds steadily throughout the novel, and readers are kept guessing. While some may find the resolution too tidy and rushed, ultimately this is a unique thriller for older teens. (Fiction. 14 & up)