Two teens drawn together by tragedy navigate an unusual friendship.
Caroline's little brother, Dylan, was kidnapped from their hometown of Dove Lake, Texas, and held for four days. When he is found, there's another boy there: Ethan, who was also abducted from Dove Lake, four years ago. Once he's home, Dylan has difficulty recovering due to his autism and his family's inability to pay for therapy, so Caroline goes to Ethan, hoping he might tell her about what Dylan experienced. But due to his years of trauma, many of Ethan's memories are blocked—and uncovering those memories is only possible with the help of his therapist and the love of his parents. Slowly, a friendship grows between the two white teens due to their shared love of music. But when Ethan realizes his role in Dylan's kidnapping, it threatens everything he has. The differing socio-economic backgrounds of working-class Caroline and well-to-do Ethan are well-portrayed, and Mathieu sensitively shows how a family's wealth can be an additional barrier to recovery for trauma victims. The author wisely keeps romance mostly out of Caroline and Ethan's friendship—a drunken kiss leads to one of Ethan's breakthroughs—and sensitively handles the details of Ethan's abduction.
Compelling. (Fiction. 14-18)