Chris Lynch Freewill

ISBN 13: 9780064472029

Freewill

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9780064472029: Freewill

Why are you here? Will was destined to be a pilot, to skim above surfaces. So why is he in wood shop class? He doesn't know -- or maybe he just doesn't want to admit the truth.

What do you know? When the local teens begin committing suicide, their deaths all have one thing in common: beautifully carved wooden tributes that appear just after or before their bodies are found.

What will you do? Will's afraid he knows who's responsible. And lurking just behind that knowledge is another secret, so explosive that he might not be able to face it and live....

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Review:

Chris Lynch has long been one of the most stylistically daring of teen novelists, and in Freewill, his innovative use of language redefines the possibilities of the genre. Strikingly, the story is told in second person. The voice is in the mind of Will, a boy who is moving in stunned bewilderment through a life leeched of meaning by the death of his father and stepmother in what may have been a suicide and murder. This speaker (who is not Will) constantly admonishes, challenges, and questions reality in clipped, enigmatic sentence fragments, and Will only occasionally answers back. The events of the story are dimly seen through this distorting haze of interior dialogue (as the events of Lynch's Gold Dust were seen through the protagonist's obsession with baseball).

Will, in a therapeutic woodworking class at "Hopeless High," has moved beyond furniture and garden gnomes to strange pole sculptures. There he is disconnected from reality and other people, except for occasional brief encounters with a tall black runner named Angela, who remains sarcastic and deliberately distant. When a girl from the school drowns in what is perhaps a suicide, a floral tribute accumulates around the death spot, with one of Will's sculptures as the centerpiece. A second possible suicide, and then two more are all marked with the strange poles, and a cult begins to grow around Will as the "carrier pigeon of death." A reporter forces him to see the connection between the sculptures and his father's ambivalent end, and Will begins to sink into total oblivion, saved, finally, when Angela and his grandparents reach out in "freewill," in this very dark, very odd, but riveting novel. (Ages 14 and older) --Patty Campbell

About the Author:

Chris Lynch is the Printz Honor Award-winning author of several highly acclaimed young adult novels, including Freewill, Gold Dust, Iceman, Gypsy Davy, and Shadowboxer, all ALA Best Books for Young Adults. He is also the author of Extreme Elvin, Whitechurch, and All The Old Haunts. He holds an M.A. from the writing program at Emerson College. He mentors aspiring writers and continues to work on new literary projects. He lives in Boston and in Scotland.

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Lynch, Chris
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Book Description HarperTempest, 2002. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 148 Pages. From Publishers Weekly: Will, a 17-year-old enrolled in a vocational woodworking class, falls under suspicion when his wood sculptures are found near the site of several teens' mysterious drownings or suicides. According to PW, this novel, narrated by Will in the second person, "focuses on the dark and murky corners of its main character's psyche. " Ages 13-up. (Sept. ) Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. From School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Will has lost his father and stepmother in an accident that might not have been an accident. He goes to a special school because he didn't take their deaths well, or so it would seem. A string of teen suicides occur and the story gets a bit muddled when Will starts blaming himself for the deaths. The confusion is compounded when some of the adults seem to blame him as well. Readers probably won't like Will or his ineffectual grandparents. His grandmother and grandfather seem more like scenery that wrings its hands a lot than family. Readers might like Will's sometimes friend Angela who might be a lesbian since she insists she doesn't date boys. They may also relate to some of the sprung-from-teen-angst observations and wisdom that pepper this strange story. What may confuse readers most, whether they are Chris Lynch fans or not, is the second-person narration. Some teens may actually spend a few moments wondering if they are just not skilled enough readers to understand this literary experiment. Most won't care enough to try. -Timothy Capehart, Leominster Public Library, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. From Booklist Gr. 9-12. It won't take long for readers to realize that Lynch's book is written in second person. It may take them a bit longer to grasp that the speaker, 17-year-old Will, is actually talking to himself. Lynch ably carries off this complicated construct, giving the story the immediacy of experience but also the restricted perspective of a di. Bookseller Inventory # 0925B413107

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Book Description Book Condition: New. Ships From Canada. 148 Pages. From Publishers Weekly: Will, a 17-year-old enrolled in a vocational woodworking class, falls under suspicion when his wood sculptures are found near the site of several teens' mysterious drownings or suicides. According to PW, this novel, narrated by Will in the second person, "'"focuses on the dark and murky corners of its main character's psyche. "'" Ages 13-up. (Sept. ) Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. From School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Will has lost his father and stepmother in an accident that might not have been an accident. He goes to a special school because he didn't take their deaths well, or so it would seem. A string of teen suicides occur and the story gets a bit muddled when Will starts blaming himself for the deaths. The confusion is compounded when some of the adults seem to blame him as well. Readers probably won't like Will or his ineffectual grandparents. His grandmother and grandfather seem more like scenery that wrings. Bookseller Inventory # 9518883128

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