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Inside out
Terry Trueman
Teen Fiction TRUEMAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Trueman paints a vivid story of three desperate teens that recalls Robert Cormier, with its dark, disturbing theme and a narrative that shifts from one plot thread to another in rapid-fire succession. Sixteen-year-old Zach Wahhsted is battling schizophrenia-and the two voices in his head ("Dirtbag" and "Rat") that constantly urge him to commit suicide. As the story opens, he waits at a coffee shop after school for his mother to arrive with his medicine. But before she gets there, two teenage boys attempt to rob the cafe. When the police arrive, the pair takes Zach and a half-dozen others hostage at gunpoint. While the young robbers frantically struggle to figure out how to end the standoff, Zach slowly begins to feel the effects of his medicine wearing off. Trueman, who has utilized a narrator with a compromised point of view before (the narrator suffered from cerebral palsy in his debut Stuck in Neutral), does a convincing job of gradually unspooling the three tightly drawn plot lines-Zach's impending mental meltdown, the touching story of what prompted the boys to attempt the robbery, and Zach's background, revealed through excerpted letters to his psychiatrist. Despite the suspenseful story line, this is ultimately a book about understanding and empathy; the climax is surprising, logical and moving. Fans of Cormier will likely enjoy this psychological and gripping tale. Ages 14-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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