Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: The 11th Hour
Publish April 17, 2018
Seventeen year-old Annika Dietty is tired of being treated like a kid when it comes to her relationship with Dylan Sopick. Convinced her parents are overly concerned about his influence on her, she and Dylan decide all they need is each other, making a plan to live at his family’s cabin. Heading out that morning though, circumstances quickly reveal Dylan’s motivations aren’t as unselfish as Annika’s. Plagued with insecurity and fear, he’s certain Annika is going to leave him unless he can take care of her. The next eleven hours are going to change their lives forever.
YA author of Throwaway Girl and If This is Home, Kristine Scarrow delves into a teen relationship that changes depending on the viewpoint. Alternating between Annika and Dylan’s perspectives, Scarrow builds an intense and complex bond between the two – dipping into their previous history together with personal memories and reflections and touching on the impact of parental involvement in the lives of their teenage children.
As their journey unfolds, Annika must face some hard truths about the boyfriend she thought she knew. Themes of mental illness, the impact of lying, and partner abuse are explored through the benefit of the two contrasting views – Annika’s confusion as the person she loves turns into someone she doesn’t recognise; and Dylan’s battle between his love for Annika and his need to protect himself. Through it all, Scarrow manages to create sympathy for both characters, keeping a thriller-paced plot moving, and making The 11th Hour a fierce read.
An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.
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