Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Delusion Road

Publish May 20, 2015

Award-winning and bestselling author Don Aker’s latest YA novel is a departure from his previous work such as The First Stone and The Fifth Rule, realistic fiction with a social issues slant. He has delivered a taut, gripping murder mystery thriller with Delusion Road, a page-turner that will leave readers both breathlessly cheering for the protagonists and eager to (re)experience the Bay of Fundy’s shoreline and all its rocky, majestic East Coast splendour. When we first meet Willa Jaffrey, a seemingly self-important high-school student in Nova Scotia, she’s determined to make her senior year the best one ever, and why wouldn’t it be? She’s rich, smart, beautiful, dating the “charming” mayor’s son Wynn d’Entremont, and at the top of the (mind) game-playing social hierarchy at Brookdale High. Her biggest worries are controlling her wavy hair with the flatiron and when she’ll receive her dad’s graduation present, “a sexy new Camaro—Victory Red with graphite racing stripes.” But Willa’s life takes an unexpected, life-altering turn once the handsome, irreverent Keegan Fraser shows up at Brookdale High, harbouring a dark, tortured past that’s about to catch up with him, his family, and all who befriend him. Keegan and Willa are soon swept into a series of shocking events that threaten not only their fledgling relationship, but also their lives. Having worked as a university instructor, a high-school teacher, and a literacy mentor has given Aker keen insight into human (especially young adult) behaviour, which shines through in his engaging, jump-off-the-page characters and authentic dialogue that entice from page one. But where Aker excels is in his storytelling, creating vividly believable scenarios rife with razor-sharp tension, all wrapped up in an edgy, realistic portrayal of loyalty, the lies we tell, and the strength of the human spirit. However, with its profanity, violence, and chilling subject matter, Delusion Road is better suited for the more mature reader.

Delusion Road

Don Aker
Harper Trophy - Harper Collins Canada
ISBN 13: 9781443424165

Jennifer D. Foster
Jennifer D. Foster Jennifer D. Foster is a Toronto-based freelance editor, mentor, and writer, specializing in book and custom publishing, magazines, and marketing and communications. She loves kidlit, greyhounds, Japan, pumpkin pie and yard sales.  

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