WHAT THEY ALWAYS TELL US by Martin Wilson

WHAT THEY ALWAYS TELL US

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

When this tender coming-of-age novel opens, Alex, a junior in high school, is profoundly alone. Ever since he swallowed Pine-Sol at a party, he’s been considered an outcast, a loser, a freak. In contrast, his brother James is an athlete, a strong student and a charter member of the senior-class in-crowd. Yet underneath his one-of-the-guys persona, James also feels alone, constrained by the limited social scene of his Tuscaloosa high school, and ready to move on to the larger world of college. The brothers, once close, are awkward and uncomfortable with each other now, and how they begin the tenuous business of reconnecting is the stuff and substance of this somewhat overlong but nonetheless satisfying story. The main catalyst for their renewed rapport is James’s friend Nathen, lamentably portrayed as a cardboard paragon of perfection, who encourages Alex to join the cross-country team and later develops other, more personal feelings for him as well. Smoothly written and psychologically astute, this story eloquently charts the cross-currents between social status, loyalty and brotherly love. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73507-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2008




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