Bacon, Michelle Life Before, 275 pages. Sky Pony Press, 2016. $17. Language: R (100+ swears, 12 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (off page sex, on page makeouts); Violence: PG-13 (murder, descriptions of abuse).
After years of abuse, Xander’s mother finally left his father and they have lived peacefully, if modestly, for years. Its only days before high school graduation, Xander has a chance with a beautiful girl, a great summer, and a new life in college. But when a woman introduces herself as his dad’s fiancée, Xander can’t stand it and antagonizes his father to the point where Dad attacks his mother and kills her. Xander knows that he is next, unless his dad can becaught. But he’s putting his best friend and her family in danger, so he makes a desperate choice to run in hopes of disappearing until Dad is behind bars.
I know there are a lot of content issues with this book, but it is seriously a compelling read. I couldn’t look away from Xander’s complicated situation. Bacon does an incredible job of keeping it real while keep the tension high and giving Xander a chance to survive or screw up as needed.
HS – OPTIONAL (only because of content issues). Cindy, Library Teacher