Amulet Books, 2011
Note: This was an advanced reading copy provided by NetGalley. The release date is set for May 1, 2011
Cat's childhood best friend, Patrick, has been the victim of a vicious hate crime. Cat's made a vow to find out who did this to him, even if it means stirring up trouble in their religious and rural North Carolina town. The person responsible for the crime does not want to get caught, and will go to any length to keep Cat quiet. It's a story about hating those who are different, the rampant drug use among residents of rural areas, and standing up for what is right.
- Small Town Mystery - Solving a mystery in a big city isn't easy, but it can be even worse in tight, close-knit communities such as Black Creek. It's hard to find the answers you need and not alienate the people you've grown up with, the people who know everything about you, and the people who can make the rest of your life in that town a living nightmare. But that doesn't stop Cat.
Overall (out of 5):5
This is a moving story about one girl trying to find out the truth about her childhood friend. It's also about Patrick's struggle to fit in and be accepted for what he is, a task that is hard for a gay young man in the rural South. It would have been easy for Patrick to fake being straight until he left town, or to retaliate every time his "friends" gave him a hard time for being himself, but his perseverance can teach us all a lesson on being true to ourselves. Myracle's writing is outstanding. The dialog is extremely realistic (I could even imagine them speaking with the North Carolina accent) and it's not hard to envision yourself standing beside Cat, weaseling information out of the reluctant townspeople. I would be extremely surprised if this book does not win several awards come January 2012.
Recommendation:This is a powerful story that needs to be told in today's society. Read it for yourself and share the message with as many people as you can. It's unacceptable that the world still allows for this type of hatred to exist in the world, and everyone needs to do their part to make sure teens like Patrick feel welcome.