Michele Bacon Life Before

ISBN 13: 9781634506397

Life Before

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9781634506397: Life Before
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Seventeen years is a long time to keep secrets, and Xander Fife has gotten very good at it. Everyone believes he has a normal life and a normal family. If he can just get through this summer, he'll start his real life in college with a clean slate--no risk, no drama, no fear.

Even better, his plans for summer are awesome: lots of pick-up soccer, relaxing afternoons with friends, and an epic road trip. Xander is banking on some long overdue nights with his ideal girlfriend, the amazing Gretchen Taylor.

Instead of kicking off what had promised to be an amazing summer, however, graduation day brings terror. His family's secrets are thrust out into the open, and Xander must confront his greatest fear. And survive doing so.

Armed with a fake ID, cash, and a knife, Xander skips town and assumes a new identity. Hundreds of miles from home and in danger, one thing is clear: Xander's real life is already in progress and just getting through it isn't enough.

Fans of Ellen Hopkins's Burned and Smoked, as well as Matt de la Pena's We Were Here will be drawn to Michele Bacon's debut.

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About the Author:

Michele Bacon writes contemporary fiction for adults and young adults. Most of her stories begin as ideas scrawled on random scraps of paper, stuffed into pockets or joining her computer-bag detritus. Life Before is her debut novel. Michele lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and three small children.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 9 Up—A riveting story told in a voice that will resonate with teens. Typical high school senior Xander Fife is looking forward to graduation and an infinite summer of adventures with his friends. He has finally captured the attention of the girl of his dreams and has been accepted into a prestigious college. From the outside, his life looks ideal. However, his carefree attitude and positive disposition are just a cover for the constant underlying fear he feels. Xander has a dark past that he has worked for years to keep a secret. When the monster of his past refuses to be ignored any longer, all of his secrets come to light in one nightmarish encounter. In a desperate attempt to unburden his friends from his troubles and escape his would-be killer, Xander flees to Vermont. Stranded in a faraway state with little money, the teen must come to terms with the demons of his childhood and decide what type of man he will become. Bacon weaves a captivating narrative of a boy who is able to journey into adulthood by overcoming a childhood filled with abuse. Though dark in nature, the work does not delve too deep into the horrors of abuse, making it appropriate for younger teens. VERDICT A great read-alike for teens who enjoyed Alex Flinn's Breathing Underwater, Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, or Sharon Draper's "Hazelwood High Trilogy."—Ellen Fitzgerald, White Oak Library District, Lockport, IL

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Publisher: Sky Pony Press, 2018
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