THE DEAD ENDERS by Erin Saldin
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 & up
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Summer is always a party in the small town of Gold Fork, Oregon, but this year will be more memorable than ever—and not for the right reasons.

First-person narration alternates among four high schoolers during summer vacation: two boys—brainy Davis and athletic Erik—and two girls—kind Ana and cool drug dealer Georgie. They are friends, of a sort, tied together by an accidental fire at a chapel that took place two years earlier during a church youth group camping trip when the four sneaked out at night to smoke a joint. Summer romances abound as well as complicated family affairs. On top of it all, someone has been committing arson around town, and the big questions everyone is pondering are who—and why? Most of the residents live dead-end, poverty-stricken lives in this tourist town, while the Weekenders who flock there during the summers and for the winter ski season see only a beautiful refuge. The characters are raw, giving this clever, moving story a staggering realism in addition to being a gripping thriller and a compelling critique of society. While there is mention of a Latinx community in Gold Fork, all main characters are white except for Latina Ana and her mother.

In part coming-of-age story, mystery, and romance, this book has something for everyone. (Mystery. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4814-9033-7
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2018


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