Devin Rhodes Is Dead (Hardcover)

By Jennifer Wolf Kam

Mackinac Island Press, 9781934133590, 240pp.

Publication Date: October 14, 2014

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Told in alternating "Before" and "After" chapters, Kam's novel focuses on the events leading up to and just after Cass's best friend Devin's body is found at the bottom of a local ravine. Part realism, part ghost story, and part coming-of-age tale, this young adult novel will draw you in and keep you turning pages until the dramatic conclusion.


About the Author

Jennifer Wolf Kam is a three-time finalist for the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. Jennifer earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in New York.


Praise For Devin Rhodes Is Dead

Convinced she is responsible for her best friend’s death, Cass feels haunted by Devin’s ghost even as she tries to hide her guilt.

Cass gradually reveals the actual events in chapters that alternate between “after” and “before.” Devin is not the most likable of creatures though infinitely prettier than her more “ample” friend and completely boy-obsessed. Fifteen-year-old Cass recalls various humiliations at Devin’s hands as well as her increasing isolation from other friends as the result of Devin’s machinations. As the truth of the killing finally emerges, first-time novelist Kam keeps atmosphere, suspense and characters realistically entwined. The language has a somewhat old-fashioned flavor, and although readers are soon likely to suspect that Cass is a rather unreliable narrator, Cass’ supernatural experience and revelation of events unfold smoothly. The well-developed cast of characters provides the needed red herrings in classic mystery fashion. The story is ideal for middle school readers who are on the cusp of discovering their romantic selves; Devin’s reckless, sexualized encounters with the opposite sex contrast well with Cass’ careful exploration of her own interest in a boy who actually sees her and finds her attractive. The charm necklaces the two girls purchase to epitomize their best friend status thread symbolically through the narrative, keeping the focus on their relationship.

A surprisingly deft mystery for early teens.