Sunday, December 13, 2009

Counterfeit Son (YA)

Alphin, Elaine Marie. 2000. Counterfeit Son. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 180 pages.

He chose the Lacey family at first because of the sailboats.

This was completely an impulsive read. There was no urgency in getting to it. It's not a new book. (Though I believe it is soon to be reprinted soon in paperback by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. January 2010, according to B&N.) But the moment I picked it up, the moment I read the first page, I just had to keep reading this one. It was so very readable, so very compelling. Which--just so you know--was so unexpected, because this is not a book in my comfort zone, this genre is not one I usually read. At all. And yet for some reason, it grabbed my attention from the start.

Long story short, I was surprised by this one. And I definitely recommend it! It is the 2001 winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.

What is it about? It's about a son who hates his father. With good reason. Cameron, our narrator, is a young boy--fourteen, I think--who has been through so much. His father, a man he calls Pop, is a serial killer and child abuser. But there is light, there is hope. Now that his father is dead--killed in a police raid--Cameron sees his chance. He wants a new life, a real life. By claiming to be someone he's not, by pretending to be one of the victims, Neil Lacey. But will this plan work? Or will his past catch up with him?

You can read an excerpt here.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Jeane 4:19 PM  

The cover is perfectly creepy. I had an instant thought of Dexter- but I know this book would be nothing like that!

Mandy 12:26 AM  

Good review, good book!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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