Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Head Case by Sarah Aronson

Frank is a senior in high school when he makes the decision that will change his life forever. He drives drunk and kills two people - one of which was his girlfriend. He barely survives the accident himself. He lives, but is paralyzed from the neck down.

This book is told from Frank's perspective. His anger, frustration, regret, and depression is evident. Frank is not feeling lucky to have survived. He wishes he was dead. He wishes he didn't have to be looked after. But mostly he wishes that night never happened.

It is a remarkably fast read for a book that is such a downer. But it reads pretty true. I'm fairly certain most of us would find the situation difficult to deal with at any age, not just as a teenager. His rage at the way his life ended up was very realistic. My biggest complaint is that Frank's emotional turnaround begins much sooner than seems realistic. Only two months after he returns home Frank is already making progress. To my mind that seemed too soon for emotional breakthroughs. Regardless, I think teens will stick with the book. It is like the ultimate rubbernecking experience. Literally.

This book is a pretty strong public service announcement. Don't drink and drive. You're not going to like the consequences. One would hope it would make teen readers think twice before

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