Alternating between his third-person account of senior year and letters from death row, a young man untangles the chain of devastating circumstances that led to his conviction. Powerful, thought-provoking, and heartbreaking, this novel about friendship, regret, and redemption is for fans of NPR’s Serial podcast and Marieke Nijkamp’s This Is Where It Ends. In a starred review, Kirkus said, “This compassionate and beautifully rendered novel packs and emotional punch.” Includes exclusive extras from the author.
Best friends since childhood, Luke and Toby have always had each other’s backs. And soon they will leave their small town, riding the tails of Luke’s wrestling scholarship, and never return. If they don’t drift apart first. Luke is dealing with an unwelcome change in his home situation, one that could take his younger brothers away. Meanwhile Toby’s father—an abusive alcoholic—has started taking more of an interest in Toby, and Luke is worried that when that interest becomes too intense, Toby won’t be able to defend himself.
Bryan Bliss’s hard-hitting third novel is told in narration that alternates between Luke’s letters to Toby from death row and a third-person account of Luke and Toby’s high school senior year, expertly unfolding the circumstances that led to Luke’s incarceration. Tense and emotional, this searing novel explores family abuse, sex, love, friendship, and the lengths a person will go to protect the people they love. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said, “Bliss weaves together a compelling and raw story . . . of loyalty, betrayal, and crippling family dysfunction.”