Kaden Norris's life is shattered when his older brother -- his best friend and hero -- is killed in Iraq. All Kaden has left of Kenny is a letter, urging him to break away from his sheltered life and to go to San Francisco to visit his cousin, James. Read more...
Kaden Norris's life is shattered when his older brother -- his best friend and hero -- is killed in Iraq. All Kaden has left of Kenny is a letter, urging him to break away from his sheltered life and to go to San Francisco to visit his cousin, James.
Kaden is blown away, as James introduces him to a life filled with drugs, sex, and apathy. He goes from extreme high to extreme low, having no idea what to expect. And when Kaden uncovers secrets about his family that have been kept from him for years, his entire world comes crashing down. This may not be the trip his brother had envisioned for him, but it's one Kaden will never forget.
- ISBN-13: 9781416984559
- ISBN-10: 1416984550
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publish Date: December 2009
- Page Count: 361
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 62.
- Review Date: 2009-12-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Fifteen-year-old Kaden’s beloved older brother is killed in Iraq; his dying wish is for Kaden to see Chuck Palahniuk read in San Francisco. Kaden travels there from Iowa to stay with his wild 30-something cousin James. Immediately, Kaden is willingly drawn into a world of apathy, drugs, and outrageousness (“I’m already in complete awe of the city. All this beauty in one single dump pad. All this coolness. This radical debauchery.... Getting wasted all day. Listening to records in rooms with beautiful girls”). James spends most of his time neglecting Kaden, cheating on his gorgeous girlfriend, Caralie (whom Kaden falls for), and getting wasted himself, resulting in Kaden’s navigating the city and its inhabitants alone. But when family truths surface, Kaden is forced into adulthood (getting beat up, trying coke, and repeatedly cheating on his girlfriend back in Iowa contribute, too). As explicit and visceral as Myers’s Exit Here, if not as hopeless, this intense coming-of-age novel illuminates some of the pain surrounding death and loss of innocence, but personal revelations mostly fade amid the story’s grittier details. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)