From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Fifteen-year-old Conner is pressured into a game of Russian roulette. The game ends tragically when Will, the instigator and bully in the group, turns the gun on Daniel, Connor's best friend, killing him instantly. For his involvement, Connor is placed on probation, but he is much harder on himself than the court was. Connor's tight-knit family is fragmented in its reaction: one brother takes him joyriding; another ignores him. Only his little sister is able to recall the good memories that they all share about Daniel. Connor stays busy by working at a hardware store and immersing himself in his violin studies. He begins to compose a violin piece, a cathartic activity that helps him process his role in Daniel's death and move on with his life. Brief chapters jump between past and present, punctuated by Connor's symbolic and revealing dreams. The aftereffects of a senseless tragedy are clearly felt in this novel, as is the premise that though it may never be the same, life does indeed go on. --Heather Booth Copyright 2007 Booklist