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Apr 5 / Michael

“Northrop’s debut is one dark ride.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

There is a starred review of Gentlemen in this week’s Publishers Weekly! In case the exclamation point didn’t give it away, I am thrilled, even more so because the review itself is really well done, with a few quotes and none of the spoilers that have crept in at some other places (I’m looking at you, Kirkus; jerks). But I can’t stay mad. What a fantastic way to start a Sunday! Herewith:

Michael Northrop. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-545-09749-9

Northrop’s debut is one dark ride, as events spin out of control for three friends who haven’t had many lucky breaks. High school sophomores Micheal (the narrator), Tommy, Mixer and Bones are a pretty tight crew. (And, yes, that’s how Micheal’s name is spelled: “Mom or Dad, one of them dropped the ball on that one, probably Dad, in the hospital or wherever it is you fill out that paperwork.”) Then Tommy goes missing. It isn’t the first time, so the guys aren’t initially too worried, but as time passes—and following increasingly unsettling interactions with their English teacher, Mr. Haberman, during a unit on Crime and Punishment—they begin to suspect that the teacher is involved in Tommy’s disappearance. Micheal, who has an eye injury stemming from a childhood incident, is a sympathetic but unreliable narrator—something he himself recognizes (“Having a messed-up eye, you know, it’ll affect how you see things”). The brutal narration, friendships put through the wringer and the sense of dread that permeates the novel will keep readers hooked through the violent climax and its aftermath. Ages 15–up. (Apr.)


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  1. mander / Apr 5 2009

    Nice job! Congrats. I’ll definitely have to pick up a copy

  2. Michael / Apr 5 2009

    Thanks, Amanda! I hope you like it. Also, finally some sunshine and warmth in NYC today (even if the wind is still around Category 2).

  3. joe / Apr 5 2009

    You rule! Of course, PW is gonna pick out my favorite line of the book (“having a messed up eye”) for their quote because it rawks. Gentlemen, that is. And that line in particular. Hang onto the lap bar, baby, because this is just the beginning of the ride…

  4. Michael / Apr 5 2009

    Thanks, man! You were way ahead of the curve on that line. I am ready for whatever sort of ride is in store—as long is it’s not bumpercars at Riverside Park, with me stuck in the corner. That was traumatic.

  5. joe / Apr 6 2009

    It was really that dead clown in the tool shed, though, wasn’t it?

  6. Michael / Apr 6 2009

    For the last time, Joe: Those charges were dismissed! And some people will say, Yeah, but that was on a technicality, but I say, Dismissed is dismissed.

  7. Cassandra / Apr 6 2009

    Awesome review, congrats! My favorite line was the first quote, “one of them really dropped the ball on that one”.

  8. Michael / Apr 7 2009

    Thanks, Cassandra! Yeah, I really like how they included a few quotes. It’s an excellent way to give readers a feel for the book. The review is just really well done—in addition to demonstrating impeccable taste, of course!

  9. Melissa Walker / Apr 15 2009

    Hooray for stars! I am honored to have been an early reader, and I’m headed out to get my official copy tomorrow!

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