Dead Ends

Dead Ends

3.96 (1,857 ratings by Goodreads)
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A riddle rarely makes sense the first time you hear it. The connection between Dane and Billy D doesn't make sense the second time you hear it. But it's a collection of riddles that solidifies their unusual friendship.

Dane is a bully with two rules: don't hit girls and don't hit special kids. Billy D has Down syndrome. When Dane doesn't hit him, Billy sees a sign of friendship and reaches out for help. Billy is sure the riddles his missing father left in an atlas are really clues to finding him. Together, Billy and Dane piece them together, leading to unmarked towns and secrets of the past. But they're all dead ends. Until the final clue . . . and a secret Billy shouldn't have been keeping.

As a journalist, Erin Jade Lange is inspired by hot button issues like bullying, but it is her honest characters and breakneck plotting that make Dead Ends a must-read.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 149 x 215 x 32mm | 508g
  • New York
  • English
  • 161963080X
  • 9781619630802
  • 989,736

About Erin Jade Lange

Erin Jade Lange writes facts by day and fiction by night. As a journalist, she is inspired by current events and real-world issues and uses her writing to explore how those issues impact teenagers. She is an only child, which means she spent a lot of time entertaining herself as a kid. This required her to rely heavily on her own imagination, which is probably why she became a writer. Erin lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Butter was her debut novel.
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Rating details

1,857 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 32% (603)
4 40% (743)
3 21% (397)
2 4% (80)
1 2% (34)

Our customer reviews

Two boys who walk alone until they find each other... Dane has a lot of resentment bottled up inside him. There's him not having a dad, being poor and having a mother who would rather frame winning instant scratchie tickets rather than cash them in and not have him wonder if they will be able to make rent that month. When Billy D attached himself to Dane's side, it's one more thing to resent. That is until Billy D manages to get under Dane's skin and they become friends without Dane even realizing it. This is a book about friendship. About two vastly different people coming together and making the world a better place for each other. But it is also about family. Dane's never known who his father was and his mother isn't forthcoming on the subject. Billy D's father was Billy's hero until one day and he wasn't there any more. Deciding to do everything he can and all the resources utilize (including Dane), Billy is determined to find his dad. The two boys bring out the best in each other. Dane is a heartbeat away from being expelled because his fists act before his brain can think better of it. Billy D is the kid who doesn't quite fit in with others. People rarely take the time to look below the surface and both boys are evidence that there is often more to someone than just the stereotype they first seem to adhere to. The biggest strength of this novel is its characters. Dane is angry and misunderstood. He may at first be considered to be a brute but he had a moral code. He's bright and loves his mother but to the outside world he comes across as a bully. He is not the type of character I normally like. But I really enjoyed how Ms. Lange developed him over the novel. Brilliant student with impulse control issues - within this book, it really works. And I loved how Billy D was written. So often in novels with characters who are intellectually and/or physically different from the norm frustrate me because I feel they are not an accurate portrayal of how these people are in real life. But reading Dead Ends, I thought Ms. Lange wrote Billy in a way which made him feel right. Billy Drum is high functioning and whilst he may not be on par with other people his age - he is not an idiot. I really admired how this came across. This book is charming and there are a lot of great things going on. The town names and riddles, the multiple Karate Kid references as well as the dynamics between all the different kinds of relationships - be it romantic, friendship, parental or even the teacher/student interactions. Dead Ends is such an enjoyable read. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put it down. Filled with humour, intelligent and beautiful writing and characters which you will find yourself rooting for despite the odds, Dead Ends is a poignant and moving read about two outsiders who find each other and a place where they finally fit more
by Kate @ Fictional Thoughts
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