FREEWILL by Chris Lynch


Age Range: 14 & up
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More straight-to-the-gut fiction from the author of the "Blue Eyed Son" trilogy, written in second-person singular, present tense, and featuring a profoundly wounded teenager haunted by questions. Maybe Will's father killed himself and his new wife deliberately. Maybe not—who can ever know what's in another's mind? Maybe you wouldn't go into a mental tailspin afterward, like Will, and end up in the wood shop of an institution dubbed Hopeless High, along with other emotionally disturbed teenagers, churning out carved gnomes and whirligigs in such a distracted state that you don't even remember making them. Maybe you wouldn't be drawn to Angela, a tough-talking classmate whose helping hand usually feels more like a cold shoulder. Maybe you wouldn't carve memorials for a pair of teen suicides, or leave one on a beach just where two more teenagers drown themselves—and then get a call from someone asking you who'll be next. Maybe that wouldn't lead you out into the ocean, just a few strokes away from bringing the numb hurt to an end. Or, maybe, like Will you would realize just in time that being lonely is not the same as being alone. Intense, nightmarish storytelling: sometimes wildly funny, sometimes heartbreaking, entirely memorable. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: March 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028176-6
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2001


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