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David Hernandez
Teen Fiction HERNAND

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Hernandez (A House Waiting for Music), an award-winning poet, turns for the first time to fiction with a beautifully executed, frequently brutal coming-of-age story. Marcus, the narrator, stakes out his position from the opening sentence: "At the funeral for Oliver's father I daydreamed about killing my own." The 17-year-old is keenly aware of his losses, beginning with the index finger that got severed during a Rollerblading accident and including the departure of his father, who walked out after Marcus finally stopped him from beating up his younger brother, depressive Enrique. He is equally aware of the space these losses create for rage. This is not an easy or comfortable novel to read: Marcus gets wasted frequently, Enrique turns increasingly cruel and few of the characters have viable options. Their suffering is palpable; as Marcus says of his home, "Our dad's rage followed us after he left. It trailed behind our footsteps from room to room, invisible." When Marcus and Enrique's mother informs them that she is thinking about letting their father move back in, she galvanizes their anger, and the plan they hatch resolves in an unforeseeably violent, life-altering climax. The author's imagery, sometimes subtle, sometimes searing, invariably hits its mark. Ages 14-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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main characters Marcus
Age: 17
Father has beaten him and his little brother for years; father leaves town; mother is thinking of letting his father move back in; driving to California to confront him for the wrongs he has committed to them; has a complete drug binge on the way to their father.

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