{Review} Dead Ends by: Erin Jade Lange

12:00 AM

Pages: 336 (ebook)
Publication date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
How I got the copy: Netgalley (thank you!)
Rating:  3 Stars
From Goodreads:
Dane Washington is one suspension away from expulsion. In a high school full of “haves,” being a “have not” makes Dane feel like life is hurtling toward one big dead end. Billy D. spends his high school days in Special Ed and he’s not exactly a “have” himself. The biggest thing Billy’s missing? His dad. Billy is sure the riddles his father left in an atlas are really clues to finding him again and through a bizarre turn of events, he talks Dane into joining him on the search. 
A bully and a boy with Down syndrome makes for an unlikely friendship, but together, they work through the clues, 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.

     If you're looking for a realistic, male pov contemporary, with an unusual bromance, some laughs, and a heartwarming message this is the book for you.    

    Did I love it?  No, but I didn't dislike it either.   While I'm glad I didn't DNF, I also feel I could have not read it and been perfectly content with life.  It had a nice message about treating people who are different from you equally and bullying, but it was kind of cliche in that way.  

    The mystery.  That's what kept me hooked.  I just wanted to know where Billy's dad was and why his family wasn't together anymore.  His mom was all sorts of shady so it was making me think they shouldn't find the dad.  Dane doesn't know who his dad is so I thought that was an interesting twist and a great way for the two characters to connect.  And I really felt the friendship between these two.  I loved that the story was solely about their friendship.  When Seely is introduced I thought oh here we go with a romance, but I was pleasantly surprised when the romance didn't overpower the real story.

    It was really refreshing to read such a realistic story.  Lately I'd been reading lots of fantasy, dystopian, and paranormal so it was nice to read something that I felt could actually happen with such authentic characters.  While Dane made me angry with his ignorance, I did like that he felt real.  And Billy was hilarious at some times.  He was good at manipulating Dane into doing what he wanted and I loved when he made Dane speechless.

    I think if the characters had been a little more dynamic I might have enjoyed this more.  They just felt very one dimensional. Dane was just the kid with anger management problems, Billy the boy with Down syndrome, and Seely the tom boy girl who skateboards.  I know that sounds contradicting because I just said they felt like real people.  Let me clarify.  Their conversations were realistic, but their actions and thoughts was what felt flat.  While I liked their character growth, I just felt if they'd had more depth I would have cared about them more and wanted to continue reading for more than just solving the mystery.

    This isn't a book I'd recommend to everyone I meet, but I will tell those of you reading this review that you should put it on your tbr.  

“And when I smashed up Brian Chung's art project because I'd overheard him telling someone I was a dirt ball who needed a shower--the warden called that unprovoked, too.  The word pissed me off every time.  It was like saying people had permission to go around treating everyone like shit, but nobody had a right to shut them up." -Dead Ends
Brandy from Random Musings of a Bibliophile : 4 Stars

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