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A powerful psychological thriller with a shocking twist from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It’s a miracle…at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn’t going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there’s something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...
Published: Simon Pulse on
ISBN: 9781442403901
List price: $8.99
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Absolutely loved it but the ending KILLED ME! I won't spoil anything but what I will say is this: MCMANN BETTER MAKE A SEQUEL!more
it was such a good book, right up ubtil the end. i feel like the characters deserve closure. Especially Ethan.more
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why is it that so many female writers take the coward's way out of what is otherwise a damn good story?more
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was 7 years old. Nine years later, he is reunited with his family, and all is not happily ever after. Blake is convinced that he's not the "real" Ethan, and trying to navigate family dynamics when your whole memory of your childhood has been wiped out is a minefield.
I LOVED the rawness and authenticity of Ethan's voice. I did NOT love the ending... still trying to get my head around it.more
I really love Lisa McMann. She wooed me with her Wake trilogy, and sealed the deal with Cryer's Cross. I've yet to read The Unwanteds, but I'm sure it will be amazing, too. Dead to You was no exception to the McMann rule.

The idea behind the story definitely intrigued me. We always read about the 'after' or the 'during.' There are tons of books out there about kids being kidnapped. The ordeal the family goes through, or the child's escape. But Dead To You is different. This time, we get to read about a family reunited. A family healing. I can't think of any book that looks at this issue from this particular angle, and so I knew I had to get my hands on it. (It's been on my wish list since its announcement.)

McMann wrote Dead To You with her usual simplicity. The quiet style of writing is one of my favorites. She writes with a quick wit, and while on the surface it seems simple, the writing has a richness to it too. I was easily captivated by the very first page, and didn't -- couldn't put this book down until it was over.

I really liked Ethan, until the very end. But I won't give away why! Throughout the whole book though, I really felt for him. I could never imagine what it would be like to walk in his place, or even his family's. All of them -- his parents, and younger sister and brother -- have been through so much, but somehow found a way to keep it together. The characters each had their own distinctions and inner conflicts, which made them that much more real, and made me root for them even more. Seeing the sadness juxtaposed with the hope really hit me.

My favorite character by far was Gracie, Ethan's six year old sister. She was spunky and sassy and adorable. Gracie was full of quick one-liners. But more than that, she had that innocence about her that kids have, that gave her the ability to accept Ethan without any questions. Their relationship was easy. She and Ethan fell into step as brother and sister almost immediately, even though they had never known each other and she had been dubbed The Replacement. If there was one person who really helped Ethan adjust back to family life, it was Gracie.


As with all Lisa McMann books, there was a wonderful end twist. I loved the eerie feeling throughout the book, the mystery lurking just below the surface, like a monster. You know it's there but can't quite grasp it. McMann has a talent for that sort of writing. The end wasn't all that shocking, but it just hurt.

I really wish I could go on, but I'll spill.

Everything said, I really loved this book. It's simplicity packed a serious punch, and like all McMann books (can you tell I'm a fan?) it was a quick, easy read, but was by no means light. I really recommend this for those of you who love mysteries, eerie books without being too freaked out, and those who like to read stories about abduction. Dead To You is wonderful, and definitely different.more
I definitely liked this better than McMann's Crash, but it still had a lot of problems. The ending was meant to be a shock, but I absolutely saw it coming the entire time. Parts were very repetitive as well which is surprising as this was a very short book to begin with. I wish there was a little more closure at the end, like an epilogue or something. It seemed very abrupt. Overall I think I'd like this book more if I hadn't read so very many books who were similar but with better writing. I can see some young teens enjoying this.more
I really love Lisa McMann. She wooed me with her Wake trilogy, and sealed the deal with Cryer's Cross. I've yet to read The Unwanteds, but I'm sure it will be amazing, too. Dead to You was no exception to the McMann rule.

The idea behind the story definitely intrigued me. We always read about the 'after' or the 'during.' There are tons of books out there about kids being kidnapped. The ordeal the family goes through, or the child's escape. But Dead To You is different. This time, we get to read about a family reunited. A family healing. I can't think of any book that looks at this issue from this particular angle, and so I knew I had to get my hands on it. (It's been on my wish list since its announcement.)

McMann wrote Dead To You with her usual simplicity. The quiet style of writing is one of my favorites. She writes with a quick wit, and while on the surface it seems simple, the writing has a richness to it too. I was easily captivated by the very first page, and didn't -- couldn't put this book down until it was over.

I really liked Ethan, until the very end. But I won't give away why! Throughout the whole book though, I really felt for him. I could never imagine what it would be like to walk in his place, or even his family's. All of them -- his parents, and younger sister and brother -- have been through so much, but somehow found a way to keep it together. The characters each had their own distinctions and inner conflicts, which made them that much more real, and made me root for them even more. Seeing the sadness juxtaposed with the hope really hit me.

My favorite character by far was Gracie, Ethan's six year old sister. She was spunky and sassy and adorable. Gracie was full of quick one-liners. But more than that, she had that innocence about her that kids have, that gave her the ability to accept Ethan without any questions. Their relationship was easy. She and Ethan fell into step as brother and sister almost immediately, even though they had never known each other and she had been dubbed The Replacement. If there was one person who really helped Ethan adjust back to family life, it was Gracie.


As with all Lisa McMann books, there was a wonderful end twist. I loved the eerie feeling throughout the book, the mystery lurking just below the surface, like a monster. You know it's there but can't quite grasp it. McMann has a talent for that sort of writing. The end wasn't all that shocking, but it just hurt.

I really wish I could go on, but I'll spill.

Everything said, I really loved this book. It's simplicity packed a serious punch, and like all McMann books (can you tell I'm a fan?) it was a quick, easy read, but was by no means light. I really recommend this for those of you who love mysteries, eerie books without being too freaked out, and those who like to read stories about abduction. Dead To You is wonderful, and definitely different.more
Reason for Reading: I'm reading all of the author's work.This is a short book with short, quick chapters. The writing is sparse but hard-hitting and to the point. The book is emotional, especially from a parent's point of view. Tough to read at times with gut-wrenching emotion for all characters concerned. Yet Ethan and his new little sister, 6-year-old Gracie are the ones who hit your heartstrings and it is poor Blake, the now middle-schooler, the child left behind when the abduction happened that it is hard to like as he turns from standoffish, to bitter, to downright rebellious about the homecoming of his big brother. This is a powerful book and I highly enjoyed it. But this is a sad tale, a dark tale with an inevitable ending. I saw how the book would end but I did not like how McMann abruptly ended the book. I would have liked some closure, an extra scene. To put that much investment into these people and to just leave them hanging there for an ending, gave me a disgusted growl as I slammed the book shut.more
How do I keep ending up with these books about terrible things happening to kids? It is a subject I really prefer to avoid, but somehow, here I go again.Ethan Manuel De Wilde was taken from his front yard when he was seven years old. Now, nine years later, he actually shows up again, having called Child Protective Services to help him get back to his family in Minnesota.His reunion with his family is not smooth. His brother Blake, who was four when Ethan was taken, hates him: he is still mad that Ethan got in a stranger’s car all those years ago, bringing havoc and heartache to the family. He also resents all the attention his parents gave, first to the missing Ethan, then to the "miracle" replacement child Gracie (now six), and now again to Ethan. Gracie is confused and wary of Ethan at first, but warms up to him. Her adoration helps him learn the good aspects of what a real family can be like. Meanwhile, Ethan's parents are extremely strict with him, particularly his mother, who panics when he is even slightly late coming back from school. Soon they all relax a bit though, and Ethan begins a relationship with a nice girl who helps him through the rough spots.But the ordeal isn’t over. Ethan still can’t remember a lot, and then there’s Blake, who gets more and more hostile. You know something is up, but it is only in the last few pages that a bomb is dropped, and it’s a stunner. Discussion: For once I found myself wishing for a trilogy, so the story would keep going. The ending is, well, pretty memorable to say the least!Evaluation: What does a kid go through who has grown up in a horrific environment? How does he come out of it and how does he cope? This book provides a creative look at some of the possibilities.more
It was a very fast read, but a fun book. I loved the ending.more
My main problem with this book was that I had the end figured out at the beginning. Ethan was hard to like and the parents were hard to connect with. Gracie was my favorite character and I found Ethan's obsession with her to be a bit disturbing. This is a quick read and the writing is very well done.more
Dead to you by Lisa Mcmann is a very touching novel. There is this young 7 year old child named Ethan who was abducted from his front yard when he was playing with his younger brother. Ethan was dropped off at a group home and through research for missing children he found out about his "family."At the age of 16 he reunites with his real parents, his brother Blake and his sister Grace who was born after Ethan was kidnapped. In no time his family begins to fall apart. He tries his best to remember those memories so that he can glue the family back together but, his memory doesn't cooperate with him. The pictures, the toys and the conversations with his parents didn't seem to help. Throughout the book he would say his thoughts of the present as well as refer to how life would be with his abductor Ellen. After reading this book i felt penitent towards Ethan, It made me disappointed because after all that time i spent the outcome was beyond my expectations. The book shows his family's struggles with each other as Ethan re-enters their lives. I pretty much liked the book until the sudden ending , and now it makes me not want to pick up the next book.more
Overall, I was pretty disappointed in this book. Right from the get-go, you know that something is wrong with the entire reunion scenario, you just don't know what. Through the whole book, you are both rooting for the kid to regain his memories and become happy again and, at the same time, you know that something is off just enough that it's not going to happen. When the shoe finally fell, I just basically felt bad for the kid's "family." They didn't deserve that. On the other hand, I didn't hate the kid because I don't think he meant to hurt the family. He obviously had a terrible life and subconsciously created this world in which he would have a better life. The whole scenario was a lose-lose for everyone.more
Many thanks to Terri (Tymfos) for recommending this excellent book. It was difficult to put down once I began to read the first page.Abducted at seven, Ethan miraculously locates his biological parents when he is 16 years old. With his family, a small town community celebrates his return. Finding a lapse in memories and a difficult adjustment to "normalcy" after years of abuse, neglect, homelessness and abandonment, Ethan struggles to belong.Desperately wanting to fit in, to belong, to be loved, Ethan wants ever so much to be accepted. Resenting the attention and his return, his younger brother Blake claims he is a fake. Listening to nightly arguments from his new found parents feels like a stab in the heart. When his younger sister loves him and grows attached to Ethan, he finally feels like there is a raft in the middle of the deep, dark ocean.This is well written and powerful. The ending was unexpected.Highly recommended.Four stars.more
A bit of a disclaimer: I have not read Lisa McMann's Wake series yet, so the following statement should be read with that in mine. Dead to You is my favorite of McMann's books thus far.Seven year old Ethan De Wilde was abducted from his front yard nine years ago, right in front of his younger brother, Blake. Now, at the age of sixteen he has returned home. Everything should be glorious and happy - and for a little while it is.But Ethan's reintroduction to his family is tearing them apart all over again. If only he could remember something, anything . . . anything at all. Something's keeping his memory's locked away, though. Something horrible.Dead to You is a different sort of abduction and return story. It's not focused on Ethan's time away from his family nor is it focused on his happy return to his family - at least no the happy part. It looks at the way things are hard for him and them after he returns.He has a younger brother who was there when he was taken away from their from sidewalk and driven away in an unknown car, not to be seen again for nine years. He has a sister, Gracie who, at only six-years-old, never knew him and is, understandably, wary of this new person's arrival into their family. And he has - also understandably - incredibly overprotective parents.As Ethan is trying to fit into his new - old - life that's where most of the book is but it's great that it's all told from his view. It gives more conflict and also allows readers to see just that little bit more that we wouldn't if it had been from another character's point of view. It also keeps us from seeing a lot of certain things if the story had either alternated views or been from third person.Dead to You is short and saying too much else would be spoilery and might ruin some of your enjoyment of this great story. If you're thinking about it, do give this book a chance.more
As soon as I read the premise for Dead to You by Lisa McMann I knew I had to read it. It sounded spectacular and i'm ashamed to say that prior to reading Dead To You I had not read anything else by her. Ethan is seven years old when he's abducted in front of his younger brother, but isn't seven years old, old enough to know better then to get into a car with a stranger? Nine years later, Ethan is brought back to his family and thrown back into a life he dosen't remember anything about. Ethan's struggle to get back in the swing of his families life, and his journey to feeling like he belongs was truly heart-breaking. I felt for him so hard because his younger brother was hesistant to believe that he was really Ethan, and his little sister (that he'd never met) felll right in love with him. My heart broke along with him, but I guess I was always hoping for more from the story. I couldn't relate to his brothers hatred of him and at times hated him for it. The ending held a bit of surprise for me and for that I did think this was a pretty decent book, it didn't fall as flat as I thought it was going to for me when I was half-way through the story. I really wish that story would have continued on, whatever happened to Ethan, what was his families reaction??!!! It left me feeling incomplete, the story just stopped aprubtly and left me with too many questions. I loved Lisa's writing story, I just wanted more from the story, I guess maybe more answers, and more depth because that felt a little forced to me at times. If you do like mysterys and heartbreaking contempories then you should definitely check this story out, It's gotten some RAVE reviews, and I didn't dislike it, just wanted a little more from the story.more
Nine years ago, seven year-old Ethan was abducted while playing in his front yard and he has finally been reunited with his family. While the family tries to make everything as "normal" as possible for Ethan, the fact that he's been gone for nine years makes it hard on everyone. Not to mention Ethan's memory loss of anything prior to his abduction doesn't really help either.I found it hard to really like anyone in this story. Ethan has not had an easy time growing up. He lived with his abductor for some years, and then she just ups and drops him off at a childrens' home which he eventually runs away from and ends up living in the streets. I get that life hasn't been peachy for him, but he just ends up being too rough and sarcastic for me to actually like. His parents, although they may be trying hard to have him fit in, didn't try hard enough for me and his younger brother, Blake, feels that Ethan isn't even the real Ethan but an imposter trying to impersonate him. If anything, my favorite of the characters was Ethan's six year-old sister Grace, whom he calls the "replacement child" since she was born a year after his abduction.The mystery of Ethan made it a quick read. The chapters flew by as the intrigue of whether or not Ethan was... well Ethan, made for a fast paced read. But the ending killed it for me. I hate shocker endings that leave you with more questions than answers and, sadly, Dead to You has one of those frustrating endings that I just could not overlook. I felt as if my book were missing a couple of chapters at the end. I'm not sure if Ms. McMann will be writing a sequel to Dead to You and, if she does, I can't honestly say if I'd even bother to read it. While I would like to know more about Ethan and what happens after Dead to You's shocking ending, I can't say I liked him enough to really want to know more.more
What a great book this was! Right away, the synopsis makes the book out to be phenomenal and it truly is, from the first page to the last.Years ago, a young 7 year old boy Ethan was abducted from his front yard. Years later (9 years to be precise), he returned to his family who have grown up and have had to move on. Ethan has to try to fit into a life of love, friendship and normalcy now. All these years, Ethan has been trying to figure his life out, and he has finally come home. McMann is able to write this story with so much ease it seems. With a book that deals with such serious and difficult situations, it seems written so perfectly. McMann has to portray these characters that have been without each other for years, a son without his parents and brother, and a mother and father without the son they once had - this would be difficult to write I would imagine, but the author does a wonderful job capturing the feelings and emotions of each character. Ethan is the character that you'll feel bad for, he has lived the most part of his life with his abductor, and he can't remember anything that people throw out to him. Blake, the younger brother is having a hard time adjusting to life with his brother back home, but Grace, oh little Grace, the sister born 1 year after the abduction is such a cute little girl. She'll melt your heart with the things she says and does. All of these characters, plus more are so well written and believable. They just add to the overall greatness of Dead To You. This isn't just the happy ending book we think it should be. No way, this is so much more than that. It's an intense, pyscological puzzle that is just so worth it.I recommend that you read Dead To You. The ending will leave you speechless!more
The Good Stuff Ethan is a very likeable and realistic character, really felt for him which made the ending so brutal Loved the relationship between Ethan and Gracie, it was so sweet and real McMann's style of writing is absolutely brilliant, straight to the point and heartbreakingly honest with no fluff or extra's added - I will read whatever she writes Plenty of twists and turns Some nice dark humour Once I started I couldn't put it down -- put aside a couple of hours, you are not getting anything done once you crack this baby open (yes honey, this is why the house looks like a pigsty) Heartbreaking, raw and honest Liked Cami - she was a perfect fit for Ethan Positively portrayed Librarian (Yes I know I have issues but hello can I tell you how many stories have nasty repressed or slut Librarians - it gets real old)The Not So Good Stuff The ending broke my heart, plain and simple (Thanks for the heads up Teri, I made it through but could definitely understand your warning) Please god tell me there is going to be a sequelFavorite Quotes/Passages"There was this one librarian guy. He let me hang out at the library and use the computer as long as I didn't disrupt anybody.""Oh, Ethan..." And I feel so cold and twisted up inside. This mother sitting next to me is the one I should love, but I don't. And the mother I do love is the one I should hate. But I can't.I fall apart "She grins. "It's okay. I can't believe you're back. Everybody thought you were dead.""Yeah, I figured." I'm sure I'll hear that a few more times before everybody settles down, too. It's pretty sick thing to say to somebody, if you ask me."Who Should/Shouldn't Read If you are a parent, this will be an extremely tough read Not for those looking for light and fluff I would say for the more mature YA reader, nothing too sexual or violent but it does deal with darker subject matter - so not for the sensitive type Would be good for a class discussion4.5 Dewey'sI received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest reviewmore
MY THOUGHTSLOVED ITThe story opens with Ethan reuniting with his family after being abducted nine years earlier. The family agrees that Ethan has grown and changed a bit, but this is Ethan. He has some emotional issues and can't remember the details of his youth but he seems to fit in and the family goes to counseling in order to come to grips with the hurt they have all experienced. He now has a little sister, Grace and his younger brother, Blake, still remembers the fateful day when he was taken even though he was only four. There are some details that just don't add up in Blake's mind. The psychologist and his parents agree that because of the traumatic experience, it is only normal that he can't remember anything. As Blake becomes more suspicious and starts to learn genetics in school. he puts things together and they just don't add up.If you are a fan of the Twilight Zone, this book fits in nicely with that television show. Right when you think things are *normal* there is a weird twist and when that happens, the world shifts. The De Wilde family is torn apart by Ethan's return and even though they are overjoyed with the reunion, Blake doesn't give an inch in his belief that Ethan should remember something from his past, even if he did suffer terrible abuse. Ethan's relationship with his siblings are polar opposites where Blake is his enemy and Grace becomes his fan. Ethan also starts to have a relationship with Cami, the girl down the street he grew up with and continues even though he knows Blake has a crush on her. Cami believes this is the Ethan she knew since birth. I read this in just a few hours and at times, I had tears. The story of abduction is just so emotional and the majority of these stories are told from the point of view of the parents. So when that is changed, the whole thing takes on more punch. I am trying not to give away any of the details, but the last few pages of this book are packed with a punch. The psychological build up provided by McMann leads to things I just didn't see coming even though once I finished it, I could see where she was going. I really enjoyed this one. There are mentions of abuse, language and some kissing but nothing to hard to take.more
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!?!?!? no really, did that just happen?!?!?!?!?! Watch out Spoilers probably ahead... I'll get to that wtf moment in a bit, I guess I should start from the beginning... So basically this 7 year old kid, Ethan was abducted from his family. It has been 9 years and they get the call that Ethan has been found. He is coming home. This poor kid lived with his "abducter" Ellen for a while and then she decided to dump him of at a kids'...moreWHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!?!?!? no really, did that just happen?!?!?!?!?! Watch out Spoilers probably ahead... I'll get to that wtf moment in a bit, I guess I should start from the beginning... So basically this 7 year old kid, Ethan was abducted from his family. It has been 9 years and they get the call that Ethan has been found. He is coming home. This poor kid lived with his "abducter" Ellen for a while and then she decided to dump him of at a kids' home in some bum-fu@! town where there are "no questions asked". Okay, this pisses me off.... I digress He lives there a while. Screws some girl named Tempest, decides to leave and go live on the streets and at the zoo. Did I mention this kid is only like 13-15 during all this. So, he gets to go home and be with his famiy now after 9 years of not knowing who he is. He "meets" his mom, dad, younger brother and 6 year old sister. Yeah, she was born just a year after he was taken. Also another kinda pisses me off moment. But, she turns out to be too darn cute to get mad at. So, I let this one go. Ethan's Brother on the other hand was pretty awful to him. He is angry that Ethan doesn't remember anything. He is angry at him for living in his space. He is just angry. This kid made me sick. Up until literally the last page I hated him. But, he turned out to be right. Don't ya hate that?!?!?! So, I had a range of emotions reading this. I was happy for the family at first, I was sad for Ethan not being able to fit in, I was mad at pretty much every character at some point or another. I read this book because I am a huge fan of Lisa McMann. Her Wake trilogy was easy to read and just awesome. I am still a huge fan. Even after this wtf ending. I can't believe it. I thought maybe Ethan would run away or Blake would try and kill him or something. But, I DID NOT SEE this coming. Holy Hell! 4 stars Content: A lot of F-Bombs were dropped. Not suitable for probably under 15??more
Ethan has finally found his family after being gone for 9 years, but he can't remember anything about his life from before. McMann lures the reader into the story with the miracle of being found after so many years. One feels for Ethan and his family as they begin the process of becoming a family again as Ethan's younger brother stuggles with anger issues related to Ethan's abduction. Ethan has several strange spells that he can't quite control, but his former best friend, Cami, helps him stay calm through the ups and downs of learning about his family again. Of course a little romance is twisted into the story, and McMann leaves one feeling breathless and heavy hearted in the end. I enjoyed this novel and finished in one day, and I'm confident that my students will also enjoy this book.more
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: This novel was written with a stream-of-consciousness style narrative that fails to fully deliver the suspense the story needed. This drama is not for someone looking for an easy, happy read.Opening Sentence: There are three of them. No, four.The Review:Reviewing this book is hard, because I’m still feeling weighed down by all the emotions it evoked. Which is good, in the sense that there’s nothing sadder than a book that can’t move its reader, but my feelings were evoked more because of the parallels I made to the real world than because of the author. Even after a few hours, I still feel like the weight of every missing child is hanging around my shoulders. It is not a good feeling.Because the book is so short, and the plot so reliant on surprise there’s not a lot I can say about the story that isn’t in the synopsis. Ethan has no memory of leaving with Ellen at the age of seven, or any of his life before that. He tries to, but the memories just aren’t there. Everything he knows about his family he learns by finding their website about him and his case, which is when he saw his picture. Because it hurts his family when he doesn’t remember almost as much as when he does, he pretends to remember some things when asked. His lack of memory along with his relationship with his brother is the cause of most of the drama in this story. Many of the relationships between the characters are unsurprising and, at least to me, were developed in an expected way. They followed what I considered to be the logical path after Ethan’s semi-prodigal return. There are a few characters in the story that haven’t been fully developed and act like stock characters, moving the story along.I cared about Ethan by the end of the book mostly because it was a first person narration. He wasn’t a particularly likable character, but he was pitiable, which added to the weight of the story. He went through hard times and McMann’s narrative style is authentic, holding nothing back from the reader. Sometimes the adapted stream-of-consciousness she’s written reads as contrived and forced, however, which pulled me out of the story in a number of places. However, her narrator is a smart boy, a survivor, and his strength pulls the reader into his life. McMann uses similes, which helped me as a reader understand what Ethan felt even though his abduction and return is so far outside of anything I’ve imagined.This is a terrifying story, because abduction is a terrifying experience both for the one taken and those left at home. So is the abandonment Ethan went through during his nine years away. It sounds like a horrible nightmare and McMann has done a good job of bringing that across. However, the suspense of this book is what drives the plot. Will Ethan get his memories back? Is he suppressing them because of some abuse? What happens if he doesn’t remember? A sense of impending doom stains the story. By the time I reached the end of the book, I had waited so long for the answer that when everything comes together I didn’t even have it in me to be surprised.The story followed the most obvious path, focusing mostly on family drama and Ethan’s small romantic subplot. There’s a sense of convenience about the story from the very beginning and unfortunately it dilutes the suspense that should have kept me gripped.Notable Scene:And it’s not good. It’s really not. It goes something like this.Dad: You’re grounded for like. I have a thousand chores for you to do, including kissing Blake’s ass. No friends over. Cami, go home forever.Me: But, Dad, he started it.Dad: Family meeting tonight after everybody calms down. For now, you are dead to me.FTC Advisory: Simon Pulse provided me with a copy of Dead To You. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.more
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Reviews

Absolutely loved it but the ending KILLED ME! I won't spoil anything but what I will say is this: MCMANN BETTER MAKE A SEQUEL!more
it was such a good book, right up ubtil the end. i feel like the characters deserve closure. Especially Ethan.more
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why is it that so many female writers take the coward's way out of what is otherwise a damn good story?more
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was 7 years old. Nine years later, he is reunited with his family, and all is not happily ever after. Blake is convinced that he's not the "real" Ethan, and trying to navigate family dynamics when your whole memory of your childhood has been wiped out is a minefield.
I LOVED the rawness and authenticity of Ethan's voice. I did NOT love the ending... still trying to get my head around it.more
I really love Lisa McMann. She wooed me with her Wake trilogy, and sealed the deal with Cryer's Cross. I've yet to read The Unwanteds, but I'm sure it will be amazing, too. Dead to You was no exception to the McMann rule.

The idea behind the story definitely intrigued me. We always read about the 'after' or the 'during.' There are tons of books out there about kids being kidnapped. The ordeal the family goes through, or the child's escape. But Dead To You is different. This time, we get to read about a family reunited. A family healing. I can't think of any book that looks at this issue from this particular angle, and so I knew I had to get my hands on it. (It's been on my wish list since its announcement.)

McMann wrote Dead To You with her usual simplicity. The quiet style of writing is one of my favorites. She writes with a quick wit, and while on the surface it seems simple, the writing has a richness to it too. I was easily captivated by the very first page, and didn't -- couldn't put this book down until it was over.

I really liked Ethan, until the very end. But I won't give away why! Throughout the whole book though, I really felt for him. I could never imagine what it would be like to walk in his place, or even his family's. All of them -- his parents, and younger sister and brother -- have been through so much, but somehow found a way to keep it together. The characters each had their own distinctions and inner conflicts, which made them that much more real, and made me root for them even more. Seeing the sadness juxtaposed with the hope really hit me.

My favorite character by far was Gracie, Ethan's six year old sister. She was spunky and sassy and adorable. Gracie was full of quick one-liners. But more than that, she had that innocence about her that kids have, that gave her the ability to accept Ethan without any questions. Their relationship was easy. She and Ethan fell into step as brother and sister almost immediately, even though they had never known each other and she had been dubbed The Replacement. If there was one person who really helped Ethan adjust back to family life, it was Gracie.


As with all Lisa McMann books, there was a wonderful end twist. I loved the eerie feeling throughout the book, the mystery lurking just below the surface, like a monster. You know it's there but can't quite grasp it. McMann has a talent for that sort of writing. The end wasn't all that shocking, but it just hurt.

I really wish I could go on, but I'll spill.

Everything said, I really loved this book. It's simplicity packed a serious punch, and like all McMann books (can you tell I'm a fan?) it was a quick, easy read, but was by no means light. I really recommend this for those of you who love mysteries, eerie books without being too freaked out, and those who like to read stories about abduction. Dead To You is wonderful, and definitely different.more
I definitely liked this better than McMann's Crash, but it still had a lot of problems. The ending was meant to be a shock, but I absolutely saw it coming the entire time. Parts were very repetitive as well which is surprising as this was a very short book to begin with. I wish there was a little more closure at the end, like an epilogue or something. It seemed very abrupt. Overall I think I'd like this book more if I hadn't read so very many books who were similar but with better writing. I can see some young teens enjoying this.more
I really love Lisa McMann. She wooed me with her Wake trilogy, and sealed the deal with Cryer's Cross. I've yet to read The Unwanteds, but I'm sure it will be amazing, too. Dead to You was no exception to the McMann rule.

The idea behind the story definitely intrigued me. We always read about the 'after' or the 'during.' There are tons of books out there about kids being kidnapped. The ordeal the family goes through, or the child's escape. But Dead To You is different. This time, we get to read about a family reunited. A family healing. I can't think of any book that looks at this issue from this particular angle, and so I knew I had to get my hands on it. (It's been on my wish list since its announcement.)

McMann wrote Dead To You with her usual simplicity. The quiet style of writing is one of my favorites. She writes with a quick wit, and while on the surface it seems simple, the writing has a richness to it too. I was easily captivated by the very first page, and didn't -- couldn't put this book down until it was over.

I really liked Ethan, until the very end. But I won't give away why! Throughout the whole book though, I really felt for him. I could never imagine what it would be like to walk in his place, or even his family's. All of them -- his parents, and younger sister and brother -- have been through so much, but somehow found a way to keep it together. The characters each had their own distinctions and inner conflicts, which made them that much more real, and made me root for them even more. Seeing the sadness juxtaposed with the hope really hit me.

My favorite character by far was Gracie, Ethan's six year old sister. She was spunky and sassy and adorable. Gracie was full of quick one-liners. But more than that, she had that innocence about her that kids have, that gave her the ability to accept Ethan without any questions. Their relationship was easy. She and Ethan fell into step as brother and sister almost immediately, even though they had never known each other and she had been dubbed The Replacement. If there was one person who really helped Ethan adjust back to family life, it was Gracie.


As with all Lisa McMann books, there was a wonderful end twist. I loved the eerie feeling throughout the book, the mystery lurking just below the surface, like a monster. You know it's there but can't quite grasp it. McMann has a talent for that sort of writing. The end wasn't all that shocking, but it just hurt.

I really wish I could go on, but I'll spill.

Everything said, I really loved this book. It's simplicity packed a serious punch, and like all McMann books (can you tell I'm a fan?) it was a quick, easy read, but was by no means light. I really recommend this for those of you who love mysteries, eerie books without being too freaked out, and those who like to read stories about abduction. Dead To You is wonderful, and definitely different.more
Reason for Reading: I'm reading all of the author's work.This is a short book with short, quick chapters. The writing is sparse but hard-hitting and to the point. The book is emotional, especially from a parent's point of view. Tough to read at times with gut-wrenching emotion for all characters concerned. Yet Ethan and his new little sister, 6-year-old Gracie are the ones who hit your heartstrings and it is poor Blake, the now middle-schooler, the child left behind when the abduction happened that it is hard to like as he turns from standoffish, to bitter, to downright rebellious about the homecoming of his big brother. This is a powerful book and I highly enjoyed it. But this is a sad tale, a dark tale with an inevitable ending. I saw how the book would end but I did not like how McMann abruptly ended the book. I would have liked some closure, an extra scene. To put that much investment into these people and to just leave them hanging there for an ending, gave me a disgusted growl as I slammed the book shut.more
How do I keep ending up with these books about terrible things happening to kids? It is a subject I really prefer to avoid, but somehow, here I go again.Ethan Manuel De Wilde was taken from his front yard when he was seven years old. Now, nine years later, he actually shows up again, having called Child Protective Services to help him get back to his family in Minnesota.His reunion with his family is not smooth. His brother Blake, who was four when Ethan was taken, hates him: he is still mad that Ethan got in a stranger’s car all those years ago, bringing havoc and heartache to the family. He also resents all the attention his parents gave, first to the missing Ethan, then to the "miracle" replacement child Gracie (now six), and now again to Ethan. Gracie is confused and wary of Ethan at first, but warms up to him. Her adoration helps him learn the good aspects of what a real family can be like. Meanwhile, Ethan's parents are extremely strict with him, particularly his mother, who panics when he is even slightly late coming back from school. Soon they all relax a bit though, and Ethan begins a relationship with a nice girl who helps him through the rough spots.But the ordeal isn’t over. Ethan still can’t remember a lot, and then there’s Blake, who gets more and more hostile. You know something is up, but it is only in the last few pages that a bomb is dropped, and it’s a stunner. Discussion: For once I found myself wishing for a trilogy, so the story would keep going. The ending is, well, pretty memorable to say the least!Evaluation: What does a kid go through who has grown up in a horrific environment? How does he come out of it and how does he cope? This book provides a creative look at some of the possibilities.more
It was a very fast read, but a fun book. I loved the ending.more
My main problem with this book was that I had the end figured out at the beginning. Ethan was hard to like and the parents were hard to connect with. Gracie was my favorite character and I found Ethan's obsession with her to be a bit disturbing. This is a quick read and the writing is very well done.more
Dead to you by Lisa Mcmann is a very touching novel. There is this young 7 year old child named Ethan who was abducted from his front yard when he was playing with his younger brother. Ethan was dropped off at a group home and through research for missing children he found out about his "family."At the age of 16 he reunites with his real parents, his brother Blake and his sister Grace who was born after Ethan was kidnapped. In no time his family begins to fall apart. He tries his best to remember those memories so that he can glue the family back together but, his memory doesn't cooperate with him. The pictures, the toys and the conversations with his parents didn't seem to help. Throughout the book he would say his thoughts of the present as well as refer to how life would be with his abductor Ellen. After reading this book i felt penitent towards Ethan, It made me disappointed because after all that time i spent the outcome was beyond my expectations. The book shows his family's struggles with each other as Ethan re-enters their lives. I pretty much liked the book until the sudden ending , and now it makes me not want to pick up the next book.more
Overall, I was pretty disappointed in this book. Right from the get-go, you know that something is wrong with the entire reunion scenario, you just don't know what. Through the whole book, you are both rooting for the kid to regain his memories and become happy again and, at the same time, you know that something is off just enough that it's not going to happen. When the shoe finally fell, I just basically felt bad for the kid's "family." They didn't deserve that. On the other hand, I didn't hate the kid because I don't think he meant to hurt the family. He obviously had a terrible life and subconsciously created this world in which he would have a better life. The whole scenario was a lose-lose for everyone.more
Many thanks to Terri (Tymfos) for recommending this excellent book. It was difficult to put down once I began to read the first page.Abducted at seven, Ethan miraculously locates his biological parents when he is 16 years old. With his family, a small town community celebrates his return. Finding a lapse in memories and a difficult adjustment to "normalcy" after years of abuse, neglect, homelessness and abandonment, Ethan struggles to belong.Desperately wanting to fit in, to belong, to be loved, Ethan wants ever so much to be accepted. Resenting the attention and his return, his younger brother Blake claims he is a fake. Listening to nightly arguments from his new found parents feels like a stab in the heart. When his younger sister loves him and grows attached to Ethan, he finally feels like there is a raft in the middle of the deep, dark ocean.This is well written and powerful. The ending was unexpected.Highly recommended.Four stars.more
A bit of a disclaimer: I have not read Lisa McMann's Wake series yet, so the following statement should be read with that in mine. Dead to You is my favorite of McMann's books thus far.Seven year old Ethan De Wilde was abducted from his front yard nine years ago, right in front of his younger brother, Blake. Now, at the age of sixteen he has returned home. Everything should be glorious and happy - and for a little while it is.But Ethan's reintroduction to his family is tearing them apart all over again. If only he could remember something, anything . . . anything at all. Something's keeping his memory's locked away, though. Something horrible.Dead to You is a different sort of abduction and return story. It's not focused on Ethan's time away from his family nor is it focused on his happy return to his family - at least no the happy part. It looks at the way things are hard for him and them after he returns.He has a younger brother who was there when he was taken away from their from sidewalk and driven away in an unknown car, not to be seen again for nine years. He has a sister, Gracie who, at only six-years-old, never knew him and is, understandably, wary of this new person's arrival into their family. And he has - also understandably - incredibly overprotective parents.As Ethan is trying to fit into his new - old - life that's where most of the book is but it's great that it's all told from his view. It gives more conflict and also allows readers to see just that little bit more that we wouldn't if it had been from another character's point of view. It also keeps us from seeing a lot of certain things if the story had either alternated views or been from third person.Dead to You is short and saying too much else would be spoilery and might ruin some of your enjoyment of this great story. If you're thinking about it, do give this book a chance.more
As soon as I read the premise for Dead to You by Lisa McMann I knew I had to read it. It sounded spectacular and i'm ashamed to say that prior to reading Dead To You I had not read anything else by her. Ethan is seven years old when he's abducted in front of his younger brother, but isn't seven years old, old enough to know better then to get into a car with a stranger? Nine years later, Ethan is brought back to his family and thrown back into a life he dosen't remember anything about. Ethan's struggle to get back in the swing of his families life, and his journey to feeling like he belongs was truly heart-breaking. I felt for him so hard because his younger brother was hesistant to believe that he was really Ethan, and his little sister (that he'd never met) felll right in love with him. My heart broke along with him, but I guess I was always hoping for more from the story. I couldn't relate to his brothers hatred of him and at times hated him for it. The ending held a bit of surprise for me and for that I did think this was a pretty decent book, it didn't fall as flat as I thought it was going to for me when I was half-way through the story. I really wish that story would have continued on, whatever happened to Ethan, what was his families reaction??!!! It left me feeling incomplete, the story just stopped aprubtly and left me with too many questions. I loved Lisa's writing story, I just wanted more from the story, I guess maybe more answers, and more depth because that felt a little forced to me at times. If you do like mysterys and heartbreaking contempories then you should definitely check this story out, It's gotten some RAVE reviews, and I didn't dislike it, just wanted a little more from the story.more
Nine years ago, seven year-old Ethan was abducted while playing in his front yard and he has finally been reunited with his family. While the family tries to make everything as "normal" as possible for Ethan, the fact that he's been gone for nine years makes it hard on everyone. Not to mention Ethan's memory loss of anything prior to his abduction doesn't really help either.I found it hard to really like anyone in this story. Ethan has not had an easy time growing up. He lived with his abductor for some years, and then she just ups and drops him off at a childrens' home which he eventually runs away from and ends up living in the streets. I get that life hasn't been peachy for him, but he just ends up being too rough and sarcastic for me to actually like. His parents, although they may be trying hard to have him fit in, didn't try hard enough for me and his younger brother, Blake, feels that Ethan isn't even the real Ethan but an imposter trying to impersonate him. If anything, my favorite of the characters was Ethan's six year-old sister Grace, whom he calls the "replacement child" since she was born a year after his abduction.The mystery of Ethan made it a quick read. The chapters flew by as the intrigue of whether or not Ethan was... well Ethan, made for a fast paced read. But the ending killed it for me. I hate shocker endings that leave you with more questions than answers and, sadly, Dead to You has one of those frustrating endings that I just could not overlook. I felt as if my book were missing a couple of chapters at the end. I'm not sure if Ms. McMann will be writing a sequel to Dead to You and, if she does, I can't honestly say if I'd even bother to read it. While I would like to know more about Ethan and what happens after Dead to You's shocking ending, I can't say I liked him enough to really want to know more.more
What a great book this was! Right away, the synopsis makes the book out to be phenomenal and it truly is, from the first page to the last.Years ago, a young 7 year old boy Ethan was abducted from his front yard. Years later (9 years to be precise), he returned to his family who have grown up and have had to move on. Ethan has to try to fit into a life of love, friendship and normalcy now. All these years, Ethan has been trying to figure his life out, and he has finally come home. McMann is able to write this story with so much ease it seems. With a book that deals with such serious and difficult situations, it seems written so perfectly. McMann has to portray these characters that have been without each other for years, a son without his parents and brother, and a mother and father without the son they once had - this would be difficult to write I would imagine, but the author does a wonderful job capturing the feelings and emotions of each character. Ethan is the character that you'll feel bad for, he has lived the most part of his life with his abductor, and he can't remember anything that people throw out to him. Blake, the younger brother is having a hard time adjusting to life with his brother back home, but Grace, oh little Grace, the sister born 1 year after the abduction is such a cute little girl. She'll melt your heart with the things she says and does. All of these characters, plus more are so well written and believable. They just add to the overall greatness of Dead To You. This isn't just the happy ending book we think it should be. No way, this is so much more than that. It's an intense, pyscological puzzle that is just so worth it.I recommend that you read Dead To You. The ending will leave you speechless!more
The Good Stuff Ethan is a very likeable and realistic character, really felt for him which made the ending so brutal Loved the relationship between Ethan and Gracie, it was so sweet and real McMann's style of writing is absolutely brilliant, straight to the point and heartbreakingly honest with no fluff or extra's added - I will read whatever she writes Plenty of twists and turns Some nice dark humour Once I started I couldn't put it down -- put aside a couple of hours, you are not getting anything done once you crack this baby open (yes honey, this is why the house looks like a pigsty) Heartbreaking, raw and honest Liked Cami - she was a perfect fit for Ethan Positively portrayed Librarian (Yes I know I have issues but hello can I tell you how many stories have nasty repressed or slut Librarians - it gets real old)The Not So Good Stuff The ending broke my heart, plain and simple (Thanks for the heads up Teri, I made it through but could definitely understand your warning) Please god tell me there is going to be a sequelFavorite Quotes/Passages"There was this one librarian guy. He let me hang out at the library and use the computer as long as I didn't disrupt anybody.""Oh, Ethan..." And I feel so cold and twisted up inside. This mother sitting next to me is the one I should love, but I don't. And the mother I do love is the one I should hate. But I can't.I fall apart "She grins. "It's okay. I can't believe you're back. Everybody thought you were dead.""Yeah, I figured." I'm sure I'll hear that a few more times before everybody settles down, too. It's pretty sick thing to say to somebody, if you ask me."Who Should/Shouldn't Read If you are a parent, this will be an extremely tough read Not for those looking for light and fluff I would say for the more mature YA reader, nothing too sexual or violent but it does deal with darker subject matter - so not for the sensitive type Would be good for a class discussion4.5 Dewey'sI received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest reviewmore
MY THOUGHTSLOVED ITThe story opens with Ethan reuniting with his family after being abducted nine years earlier. The family agrees that Ethan has grown and changed a bit, but this is Ethan. He has some emotional issues and can't remember the details of his youth but he seems to fit in and the family goes to counseling in order to come to grips with the hurt they have all experienced. He now has a little sister, Grace and his younger brother, Blake, still remembers the fateful day when he was taken even though he was only four. There are some details that just don't add up in Blake's mind. The psychologist and his parents agree that because of the traumatic experience, it is only normal that he can't remember anything. As Blake becomes more suspicious and starts to learn genetics in school. he puts things together and they just don't add up.If you are a fan of the Twilight Zone, this book fits in nicely with that television show. Right when you think things are *normal* there is a weird twist and when that happens, the world shifts. The De Wilde family is torn apart by Ethan's return and even though they are overjoyed with the reunion, Blake doesn't give an inch in his belief that Ethan should remember something from his past, even if he did suffer terrible abuse. Ethan's relationship with his siblings are polar opposites where Blake is his enemy and Grace becomes his fan. Ethan also starts to have a relationship with Cami, the girl down the street he grew up with and continues even though he knows Blake has a crush on her. Cami believes this is the Ethan she knew since birth. I read this in just a few hours and at times, I had tears. The story of abduction is just so emotional and the majority of these stories are told from the point of view of the parents. So when that is changed, the whole thing takes on more punch. I am trying not to give away any of the details, but the last few pages of this book are packed with a punch. The psychological build up provided by McMann leads to things I just didn't see coming even though once I finished it, I could see where she was going. I really enjoyed this one. There are mentions of abuse, language and some kissing but nothing to hard to take.more
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!?!?!? no really, did that just happen?!?!?!?!?! Watch out Spoilers probably ahead... I'll get to that wtf moment in a bit, I guess I should start from the beginning... So basically this 7 year old kid, Ethan was abducted from his family. It has been 9 years and they get the call that Ethan has been found. He is coming home. This poor kid lived with his "abducter" Ellen for a while and then she decided to dump him of at a kids'...moreWHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!?!?!? no really, did that just happen?!?!?!?!?! Watch out Spoilers probably ahead... I'll get to that wtf moment in a bit, I guess I should start from the beginning... So basically this 7 year old kid, Ethan was abducted from his family. It has been 9 years and they get the call that Ethan has been found. He is coming home. This poor kid lived with his "abducter" Ellen for a while and then she decided to dump him of at a kids' home in some bum-fu@! town where there are "no questions asked". Okay, this pisses me off.... I digress He lives there a while. Screws some girl named Tempest, decides to leave and go live on the streets and at the zoo. Did I mention this kid is only like 13-15 during all this. So, he gets to go home and be with his famiy now after 9 years of not knowing who he is. He "meets" his mom, dad, younger brother and 6 year old sister. Yeah, she was born just a year after he was taken. Also another kinda pisses me off moment. But, she turns out to be too darn cute to get mad at. So, I let this one go. Ethan's Brother on the other hand was pretty awful to him. He is angry that Ethan doesn't remember anything. He is angry at him for living in his space. He is just angry. This kid made me sick. Up until literally the last page I hated him. But, he turned out to be right. Don't ya hate that?!?!?! So, I had a range of emotions reading this. I was happy for the family at first, I was sad for Ethan not being able to fit in, I was mad at pretty much every character at some point or another. I read this book because I am a huge fan of Lisa McMann. Her Wake trilogy was easy to read and just awesome. I am still a huge fan. Even after this wtf ending. I can't believe it. I thought maybe Ethan would run away or Blake would try and kill him or something. But, I DID NOT SEE this coming. Holy Hell! 4 stars Content: A lot of F-Bombs were dropped. Not suitable for probably under 15??more
Ethan has finally found his family after being gone for 9 years, but he can't remember anything about his life from before. McMann lures the reader into the story with the miracle of being found after so many years. One feels for Ethan and his family as they begin the process of becoming a family again as Ethan's younger brother stuggles with anger issues related to Ethan's abduction. Ethan has several strange spells that he can't quite control, but his former best friend, Cami, helps him stay calm through the ups and downs of learning about his family again. Of course a little romance is twisted into the story, and McMann leaves one feeling breathless and heavy hearted in the end. I enjoyed this novel and finished in one day, and I'm confident that my students will also enjoy this book.more
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: This novel was written with a stream-of-consciousness style narrative that fails to fully deliver the suspense the story needed. This drama is not for someone looking for an easy, happy read.Opening Sentence: There are three of them. No, four.The Review:Reviewing this book is hard, because I’m still feeling weighed down by all the emotions it evoked. Which is good, in the sense that there’s nothing sadder than a book that can’t move its reader, but my feelings were evoked more because of the parallels I made to the real world than because of the author. Even after a few hours, I still feel like the weight of every missing child is hanging around my shoulders. It is not a good feeling.Because the book is so short, and the plot so reliant on surprise there’s not a lot I can say about the story that isn’t in the synopsis. Ethan has no memory of leaving with Ellen at the age of seven, or any of his life before that. He tries to, but the memories just aren’t there. Everything he knows about his family he learns by finding their website about him and his case, which is when he saw his picture. Because it hurts his family when he doesn’t remember almost as much as when he does, he pretends to remember some things when asked. His lack of memory along with his relationship with his brother is the cause of most of the drama in this story. Many of the relationships between the characters are unsurprising and, at least to me, were developed in an expected way. They followed what I considered to be the logical path after Ethan’s semi-prodigal return. There are a few characters in the story that haven’t been fully developed and act like stock characters, moving the story along.I cared about Ethan by the end of the book mostly because it was a first person narration. He wasn’t a particularly likable character, but he was pitiable, which added to the weight of the story. He went through hard times and McMann’s narrative style is authentic, holding nothing back from the reader. Sometimes the adapted stream-of-consciousness she’s written reads as contrived and forced, however, which pulled me out of the story in a number of places. However, her narrator is a smart boy, a survivor, and his strength pulls the reader into his life. McMann uses similes, which helped me as a reader understand what Ethan felt even though his abduction and return is so far outside of anything I’ve imagined.This is a terrifying story, because abduction is a terrifying experience both for the one taken and those left at home. So is the abandonment Ethan went through during his nine years away. It sounds like a horrible nightmare and McMann has done a good job of bringing that across. However, the suspense of this book is what drives the plot. Will Ethan get his memories back? Is he suppressing them because of some abuse? What happens if he doesn’t remember? A sense of impending doom stains the story. By the time I reached the end of the book, I had waited so long for the answer that when everything comes together I didn’t even have it in me to be surprised.The story followed the most obvious path, focusing mostly on family drama and Ethan’s small romantic subplot. There’s a sense of convenience about the story from the very beginning and unfortunately it dilutes the suspense that should have kept me gripped.Notable Scene:And it’s not good. It’s really not. It goes something like this.Dad: You’re grounded for like. I have a thousand chores for you to do, including kissing Blake’s ass. No friends over. Cami, go home forever.Me: But, Dad, he started it.Dad: Family meeting tonight after everybody calms down. For now, you are dead to me.FTC Advisory: Simon Pulse provided me with a copy of Dead To You. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.more
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