Synopses & Reviews
A riddle rarely makes sense the first time you hear it. The connection between Dane and Billy D doesnt make sense the second time you hear it. But its a collection of riddles that solidifies their unusual friendship.
Dane is a bully with two rules: dont hit girls and dont hit special kids. Billy D has Down syndrome. When Dane doesnt 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 theyre all dead ends. Until the final clue . . . and a secret Billy shouldnt 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.
"Lange (Butter) explores the friendship that forms between a rage-filled 16-year-old named Dane and his new neighbor, Billy D., who has Down syndrome. Although Dane is a bully, he draws the line at picking on the disabled ('Standards, y'know?'), and when he's offered a chance to avoid suspension by helping Billy out, he accepts it reluctantly. The boys bond over their missing fathers Dane doesn't know who his is, and Billy's mother kicked his father out and moved across the country and decide, with help from neighborhood skate punk Seely, to track down Billy's father. Their investigation leads to road trips and revelations about their pasts. With confident storytelling, Lange ably develops Dane's romance with Seely and his friendship with Billy, but a few details sour the story a bit. A subplot in which Dane's working-class mother regularly wins the lottery (but refuses to cash her tickets) shouts of middle-class privilege; worse, Billy essentially exists to give Dane the epiphany he needs. The core story should keep readers interested if they can overlook those problems. Ages 14 up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the author of Butter comes a brilliant portrayal of an unlikely friendship wrapped in an explosive mystery.
About the Author
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.