Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Dane Washington is one suspension away from expulsion. In a high school full of “haves,” being a “have not” makes Dane feel like life is hurtling toward one big dead end. Billy D. spends his high school days in Special Ed and he’s not exactly a “have” himself. The biggest thing Billy’s missing? His dad. Billy is sure the riddles his father left in an atlas are really clues to finding him again and through a bizarre turn of events, he talks Dane into joining him on the search.
A bully and a boy with Down syndrome makes for an unlikely friendship, but together, they work through the clues, leading to unmarked towns and secrets of the past. But they’re all dead ends. Until the final clue . . . and a secret Billy shouldn’t have been keeping.
As a journalist, Erin Jade Lange is inspired by hot button issues like bullying, but it is her honest characters and breakneck plotting that make Dead Ends a must-read.
I really thought that Dane was a good guy. He was really sweet (even if he didn't want to admit it) and to be honest, he was kind of a good person; but that's only if you can let the bullying thing go. And I could, after a while, because it was obviously something that he struggles with. He doesn't exactly want to be who he is. And his relationship with Billy D was very well done - obviously, Billy got on his nerves sometimes, but he never hit him, even if they do fight.
Billy D was a good enough character, but I feel like all of the real development was with Dane. Billy was kind of a side character, I guess, even if he is a big part of the book. Billy was just harder to identify with. He's just so naive and just kind of... he's a kid. I still liked him, though, because he was a bit of a bright spot in Dead Ends.
I also really liked Seely. It was very refreshing to see a tomboy character for once, and I loved that even if her situation is slightly weird, she's very open about it. She's a good person, that's obvious. The biggest thing that Dead Ends has going for it is the characters.
The story was easy to read, and the plot moves quickly... but the characters are where it's at. All in all, Dead Ends was a good read, and I liked it.