What Happened to Cass Mcbride?
by Giles, Gail

After his younger brother commits suicide, Kyle Kirby decides to exact revenge on the person he holds responsible.

Gail Giles is the acclaimed author of several psychological drama/suspense novels for teens, including Shattering Glass, Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, and Playing in Traffic (Roaring Brook hardcover, Simon Pulse paperback). Shattering Glass was an ALA Best of the Best Book (one of the best 100 books for young readers of the decade), an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick for Young Readers, a Booklist Top Ten Mystery for Youth, and received starred reviews in Booklist and Kirkus.

What happened to Cass McBride? Well, she has been buried alive by Kyle Kirby, who blames her for his brother David's suicide. After asking Cass out, David finds a note she leaves for a friend in which she laughs about an invitation from someone so low on the food chain. Then David hangs himself. Told in alternating voices, including that of a police officer, this intense story has some horrifying moments; readers will feel as terrorized as Cass as she struggles to survive, both physically and mentally. At the same time, there are plenty of psychological thrills as Cass tries to win her release by outwitting Kyle. In the teens' dialogues, it becomes clear that both have parents who have withheld love, and the brothers, especially David, have suffered extreme verbal abuse. The depiction of Kyle's mother goes over the top, but overall this packs a wallop. Readers won't forget David's suicide note, pinned to his skin: "Words are teeth.^B And they eat me alive. Feed on my corpse instead." ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

In this harrowing, brutal mystery, college student Kyle Kirby believes a snarky rejection letter written by popular Cass McBride may have driven his younger, love-thirsty nerd of a brother to hang himself. To avenge his death, Kyle drugs Cass, kidnaps her and buries her in a wooden box underneath the ground. He inserts a plastic tube from the surface into the box for oxygen, and maniacally waits for her to talk. All of this happens within the first 20 pages and what unfolds next are the thoughts, fears and memories running through the minds of Kyle and Cass as the terrible evening unfolds. If the plot alone isn't disturbing enough to yank readers up by their bootstraps and catapult them headfirst into the horrors that are about to befall the two, Giles's jagged, terse, just-the-facts narrative only amplifies their claustrophobically dire situation. There is no light shed on the human condition, no touching moments of patient understanding. There are hardly any characters for teens to look up to, and, in true Giles form, nothing ties up neatly. It's just plain chilling, and that's what makes it brilliant. A damn scary read. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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