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Book review: "Surrender"

A great story, but dark, gritty

A great story, but dark, gritty

August 14, 2007|by EVA NIESSNER/Pulse Correspondent

In "Surrender," Sonya Hartnett writes a coming-of-age story with an easy grace that paints a vivid portrait of misery and revenge. The mysteries that lie at the heart of a small town command attention to every detail, wanting to be figured out.

In the small, austere town of Mulyan, one boy, Anwell - or Gabriel, as he is better known - suffers. His brother died accidentally because of him. His father merely tolerates him. His unbalanced mother despises him.

Gabriel is an outcast. His only friends are a mysterious, wild boy named Finnigan, and a dog named Surrender.

Now 20 years old and dying, Gabriel looks back on the vicious, constrained life he led. He looks over the twisted relationships he had with others which threw the town of Mulyaninto uproar and changed the lives of the residents. This book is told in the recollections of Gabriel and Finnigan, with dark, imaginative description, fiercely realistic dialogue between boys and between parent and child, and a smooth narration about a bizarre, heartbreaking tale.

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"Surrender" is an incredible book for young adults, and I would give it the highest rating possible.

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