RICOCHET by Julie Gonzalez


Age Range: 14 & up
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On a rooftop, four boys play “idiot’s roulette,” in which you point the gun at the person next to you rather than yourself: Connor, his best friend Daniel, their old, if not close, friend Ryan and Will, a violent bully who is there by Daniel’s invitation. When Will fires at Daniel, there’s a bullet in the chamber and Daniel dies. Will is eventually charged with murder and Connor’s sentence is anything but light. He gets probation and will have to face his classmates and close-knit family on a daily basis. Haunted by disturbing dreams, he turns to music for solace. Through his violin studies, his job at a home-improvement store and late-night rides in his brother’s Camaro, Connor mourns Daniel and begins to heal. The non-linear presentation of the significant events leading to Daniel’s death is irksome rather than suspenseful, but the author abandons the technique after that. This allows Daniel’s story to grow organically and resolve—perhaps too cleanly. The peripheral characters, though predictable in their actions and words, are more believable as people than is the narrator. Although the dialogue is realistic for teenage boys, Connor’s first-person internal narrative is melodramatic, emotionally manipulative and out of alignment with his dialogue. Only for teens looking for an easily digestible tear-jerker. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 10th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-385-73228-4
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2007


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