Edition cover

  • ISBN10: 1416914382
  • ISBN13: 9781416914389
  • Hardcover
  • Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

by Kate Morgenroth

Reviewed by Amanda

Rating: 5 out of 5

  • Posted 14 years ago
  • Viewed 4890 times, 3 comments
  • Average user rating: (4.8/5)

Disturbing yet tastefully done.

When I saw Echo's stark red/white image of a tacked and spread-eagled rabbit centered on the cover, my eyes enlarged as I swore "Oh dear god, what is that thing? Disturbing yet tastefully done. What plot fills its pages!" And gratefully, after two days spent devouring its pages, I was gleefully rewarded with the key to this bizarre puzzle.

Justin 15 and Mark 10, two brothers home alone after school, wanting to watch their favorite tv shows but can't. At least, not 'til mom comes home and frees their tv unit from the prison that is their family's padlocked entertainment center. Apparently the parentals have strong aversions associated with watching too much television as evidenced by their second tv also restricted behind locked bedroom doors. Propelled by boredom, impatience, and frustration, the younger and more headstrong Mark jimmies his parents bedroom doors for unmonitered television access. As can be expected with siblings, the boys argue over whose tv show to watch that escalates into wrestling match for the remote. To no surprise, Justin's larger and stronger physique aides him in easily retaining control of channel surfing. However, this playful banter ends when their following actions result in a horrific accident leaving only Justin alive. (I'd tell you more about those actions, the spoilers, if I knew you better. But I wouldn't want your frustration with me to jeopardize the possibility of you not checking out this great read. I will say that I get a huge rise from teens after they hear this death spoiler.)

Next, jumpforward a year to Justin 16, hearing voices, and reliving one particular day over and over.


"Wake up."

The voice reached Justin through his sleep, but it wasn't a normal voice. It was a voice in his head.

"Wake up," it said again.

It wasn't like talking to himself; it wasn't his own voice he heard. It sounded deep and slightly distorted-like on television when they're trying to disguise the person and they've blacked out the face and digitally modified the voice. But it was also strangely familiar. It was like when you're having a dream and you suddenly realize you've had this dream before, though you never actually recalled it while you were awake.

"Wake up, Justin," the voice commanded.

Justin opened his eyes.

The confusion generated by the plot and our unreliable narrator (duh, he's hearing voices) may initially cause readers to wonder which genre category this story falls into. And Morgenroth's diligence with developing the brothers polar personalities at a methodical pace may discourage readers, but hold out. The prologue is only 6 pages and I promise the payoff for this psychological thriller is definitely worth every word.

manda Website contributor: Alternative Teen Services Myspace: Am&a

Creative Commons License, some rights reserved


cedarwaxwing says:

Wow. Sounds a bit like Donnie Darko (one of my all-time favorite films). I'll have to check this one out.

#1 Posted 14 years ago

bloodymandy (this is my review) says:

It is very much like Darko in atmostphere and it's ability to confound you.

#2 Posted 14 years ago

chelsealouise204 says:

I loved this book, I read it a few days ago.

#3 Posted 12 years ago

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