CUT OFF by Jamie Bastedo
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 12 - 17
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A teen classical guitar prodigy finds new fame as an Internet blogger until cyberaddiction nearly kills him in this coming-of-age novel.

Indio McCracken, half Canadian, half Mayan, leads what appears to be a privileged life as the son of the owner of a gold mine. But behind the 10-foot wall and armed guards of his family’s Guatemalan home, Indio leads a lonely, isolated life dominated by hours of guitar practice dictated by his overbearing father. When Indio discovers the computer lab at school and begins blogging about his guitar playing, he quickly develops a following—and a dependence on the attention. The gold mine’s exploitation of the indigenous Mayans brings trouble and forces the family back to Canada—a place Indio knows nothing about. He stops playing guitar and falls into a depression that is only cured by his mother’s gift of an iPhone. He invents a new persona, Ian—a true blue Canadian—and begins another blog. Soon, blogging takes over his life. Indio’s narration is completely believable throughout as he wrestles with identity and belonging. Bastedo gives readers who may be inclined to scoff at the addictive-cyberdevice premise the space to assess Indio’s actions and reasoning and reach their own conclusions, all the while keeping the tension and pace high.

A first-rate adventure with a powerful message. (author Q&A) (Fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-88995-511-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2015


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