by Judith Hayn
Matt de la Pena is a fresh young voice in edgy teen fiction. One of his recent works is I Will Save You
(2010) is complex and fast paced, perfect for older teens who prefer gritty realism.
Kidd, the 17-year-old hero, is running from his past and his future. He has no family, and the group home where he lives urges him to remember what he wants to forget. Kidd walks away from Horizons and finds a job at a local campsite. Conflict and burgeoning friendship arrive with blond-haired, blue-eyed Olivia, but their relationship is complicated by her wealthy background. The mysterious Devon from the center tracks Kidd to the beach and threatens the new life he is building. Devon lures Kidd into his life-on-the-edge adventures which lead to inevitable catastrophe. De la Pena combines several different lenses for Kidd as he unveils his story through diaries, flashbacks, stream of consciousness, and the present to create a suspenseful page-turner.