A teenage sociopath is "fixed" after he gets an implant that's supposed to cure him in this thrilling coming of age tale from the author of Willful Machines. A year ago, Rem Braithwaite watched his classmate Franklin Kettle commit a horrific crime. Now, apart from the nightmares, life has gone back to normal for Rem. Franklin was caught, convicted, and put away in juvenile detention for what he did. The ordeal seems to be over. Until Rem's mother selects Franklin as a test subject for an experimental brain procedure intended to "cure" him of his cruel and violent impulses. Suddenly Rem's memories of that day start coming back to the surface. His nightmares become worse than ever. Plus he has serious doubts about whether his mother's procedure will even work. Can evil really just be turned off? Then, as part of Franklin's follow-up testing, he and Rem are brought face to face, and Rem discovers...Franklin does seem different. Despite everything, Rem finds himself becoming friends with Franklin. Maybe even something more than friends. But when another of their classmates turns up dead, Rem's world turns upside-down yet again. Franklin insists that he's innocent, that he's cured, but Rem doesn't know what to believe. Is someone else responsible for this new murder, or is Franklin fated to stay a monster forever? And can Rem find out the answer to this question before the killer, whoever it is, comes after him too?
- Hardback | 384 pages
- 140 x 210 x 38mm | 463g
- 01 Dec 2016
- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- Simon Pulse
- New York, United States
- f-c scuff-proof matte lam jacket on metallic stock w- spot UV & 2 hits opaque white
Scientifically induced compassion confuses a monster--and his potential target.Rem Braithwaite was part of an exclusive quintet, the Boreal Five. Rem (gay artist), Callie (outspoken liberal), Lydia (straight-laced wallflower), Tor (golden-boy athlete), and Pete (likable goofball) were a gilded exemplar of unified high school demographic diversity (even if Indian Callie is the only nonwhite member). When reclusive, video-gaming outsider Franklin Kettle fatally shoots Pete in class, their innocuous Minnesota lives are upended. Now, a year later, Rem's scientist mother is about to implant a controversial, violence-taming capsule in Franklin's brain. When Rem's mother sends him to talk with a pre- and post-surgery Franklin as part of her research, the tight-knit Midwestern inoffensiveness unravels. Flashbacks reveal the Five's parts in ostracizing Franklin, while in the present day, Rem sneaks lascivious visits with closeted Tor (who's also Lydia's boyfriend), potentially mended Franklin appeals sexually to Rem, and Rem's mother could be lying about the questionable foundation for her research. Violence unfurls again when a bootleg version of Franklin's favorite game surfaces with the Boreal Five as the targets. A troubled boy-boy romance (times two!), brewing tragedy, nods to Gothic greats (Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), and pointed commentary are here, orchestrated deftly in a successful sophomore outing for Floreen. Chords of Frankenstein and Carrie harmonize in this emboldened critique of guns, bullying, and violence. --Kirkus Reviews "8/15/16"