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Blank Confession

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,159 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Shayne Blank is the new kid in town—but that doesn’t stop him from getting into a lot of trouble, very quickly. The other kids don’t understand him. He’s not afraid of anything. He seems too smart. His background doesn’t add up. And when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent ...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published November 16th 2010)
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Blank Confession by Pete Hautman is a solid story told by a skilled storyteller. That might sound like a weak or oversimplified compliment, but let me explain my deep admiration for storytellers.

Have you ever been in the presence of a gifted orator or storyteller? Someone with a pitch perfect tone, attitude, build up, posture, and language coupled with the right amount of sighs, smiles, eye contact, and hand gestures to pull you right into the story. To really make you a part of the tale or worl
Dec 12, 2011 Misha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenage girls, anyone who loves a good mystery
Shelves: favorites
Finished in 5 hours. Bypassed homework for this book. It was that amazing.

I fell in love with the main character Shayne Blank on practically the 3rd page of his appearance. That's sorta his character's purpose I think. To make readers captivated by him so his actions later on are all the more justified and even later actions mysteriously intriguing.
His sarcasm, nonchalant, ninja ways are oh so very alluring. Especially since I'm a teenage girl haha. Everything about him makes him seem so attract
Mike Mullin
I had no intention of reading this today. But I picked it up at the library, and started it while I was waiting for my wife to get her books. When we got home, I laid down in bed, thinking I'd read a bit and then take a well-earned nap. That plan was scotched by distilled adrenaline rush that is Blank Confession

The protagonist, Shayne, is the answer to this question: What if Jack Reacher were a high school kid? Yes, he's that awesome.

I need to create a bookshelf of Best YA Thrillers--Blank Confe
Duffy Pratt
I felt sort of like an idiot when it hit me that this book actually is the high-school retelling of Shane, the western by George Stevens. I mean Shayne Blank is the name of the mysterious stranger who rides into school on his BMW motorcycle. He's not particularly special in any way, but has a distinct air of danger about him. He gets mixed up with some really bad characters while trying to help some kid who is out of his depth, and he becomes tangentially involved with everyone in the kid's fami ...more
** spoiler alert ** This book was so awesome.I thought it was going to be an ok book but I loved it.Especally the ending which was very surprising.It's a story about how a new boy in town confesses to a murdre and it is told from the point of view of his friend mikey and the interview room Shayne(the new kid)he is telling it from.The book leaves you in suspense about whow Shayne killed.I loved this book because of the awesome unexpected ending,humor,and the point of views they were telling it fr ...more
Andrew Hicks
One of the foremost reasons I've adopted young-adult fiction as my literary poison of choice is, it reads so fast you don't get bogged down in unnecessary detours, metaphors, poetic license or fringe characters. YA is about plot, character and dialogue. It's perfect for a grown adult like me who's got a full-time job, small children and a latent case of arrested development. Even so, I'll occasionally get tied up with something that feels like a YA epic - The Miseducation of Cameron Post , The ...more
This book begins with Shayne Blank entering a police department to confess a murder. The question for readers is how this kid who is new to school got into the situation. Mikey is a kid whose mouth always gets him into trouble. Though he thinks he wants to blend in and be invisible at times, he dresses in secondhand suits that make him stick out from the regular high school crowd. When Shayne seems interested in being his friend, Mikey has just ticked off his sister’s boyfriend, drug dealer Jon ...more
This whodunnit kept me up late and I really liked Shayne Blank, the confessor who says he killed someone. I found his friend Mikey, who narrates part of the book, kind of annoying at times, but was glad to hear he came into his own a little bit at the end, and was maybe less of a 'dink.'
I think YA readers will really enjoy this, if for nothing else than the action bits. Lots of fights, lots of the undertow of what really concerns kids in high school, and so lots of drama.
Most characters are fa
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Although Shayne and Mikey have only been friends for a week, they are both involved in a murder investigation. One of them has confessed, but is he really the guilty one?

Shayne describes Mikey as a "dink." Combine Mikey's tiny stature and the odd thrift store suits he wears to school every day, and you have a bully magnet. Their friendship begins on Shayne's first day in the high school when he comes to Mikey's rescue. The two could
Harleigh Ditzenberger
When I first started reading this book I found it somewhat boring and expected it to be about a boy committing murder because right at the beginning of the story they are already in the interview room and then that kind of confused me. Then I thought it’d just be chapter after chapter something new but Hautman set it up with it just about Mikey and then another chapter about the interview room and then another chapter of Rawls which really kept me excited and really into the book.

This story has
Shayne Blank is a mysterious character througout the story. Basically the book is narrarated through Shayne, Rawls, and Mikey. So the story starts off by Mikey being bullied by his brother-in-law, Jon Brande. Jon Brande bullied him more when Mikey lost his "dough" bag and thats whenShayne comes in. Shayne Blank is a very mysterious kid that comes through an unknown background. The main character Mikey Martin is a tiny kid with glasses that is Haitian, but looks like a mexican. So in the story Mi ...more
Rebecca Zhang
I read Blank Confession because I needed a book that looked like a quick read to finish off wide reading.
Blank Confession fills in the category for a book with a male main character. I don’t read books because of the main character’s gender, but for certain books, a certain gender works better as a main character.
A character I liked was Shayne, because he was mysterious, and he remains that way, even after you find out his identity. He’s different and has a unique personality, and he acts like
Blank Confessions is told in a series of flashbacks. The story opens with Shayne Blank confessing to killing Jon Blande, a bully in high school. Shayne is a mysterious character that shows up on the first day of high school. He meets and helps high school junior Mikey Martin. Jon Blande is dating Mikey's sister. Mikey's troubles start when he throws away a bag of drugs forced on him for safekeeping by his sister's drug-dealing boyfriend. Consequently, Mikey is threatened with bodily injury unles ...more
This is a short, taut, YA novel, which is equal parts LAW AND ORDER and THE USUAL SUSPECTS, with a hint of SHANE thrown in for good measure. It deals with an astonishing number of themes: domestic abuse, racial identity, substance abuse, high school, and struggles with fitting in, just to name a few, but all the themes are just part of a compelling story, with interesting characters and some nice upsetting of typical YA expectations.

On the surface, it's the story of a high school student who ha
This story starts off with Shayne going to the Police Station. He talks to a man named Detective Rawls. He tells him that he killed a man. This little blurb on the back of the book really intrigued me. You get further into the book and meet a few characters. Mike Martin who is an outcast. Shayne befriends him. Since he is an outcast. This story is very hard to explain. Jon Brande is another character. He gave Mike a bag of drugs. Which after that. The police dogs came into the school. Which Mike ...more
Billy Standage
Blank Confession

The setting of the book takes place in a high school where Shayne Blank meets a Haitian kid named Mikey Martin. The high schools mood is nervous and kind of hostile and the setting helps create the hostile mood Because Jon Brande makes mikey hold on to some drug. The police station gives off the nervous mood because There is a lot tension cause he won’t answer Detective Rawls.

The book is about a boy who goes to a police station to confess a murder to detective rawls. The charact
Sean Albright
Have you ever been in school when a new kid has arrived? They're so intriguing. They bring with them a sense of mystery and we often become fascinated by them because let's face it, we get tired of seeing the same old faces time and time again. Well, now imagine a day after this new kid arrives he befriends the school nerd, days following that he taunts one of the school bullies, and approaches the toughest kid in school. Pretty interesting, huh? Well what if that same new kid who hangs out with ...more
Another great Pete Hautman book.
This book was so good. In my “book” (haha get it? Excuse the bad jokes), it is probably up there with Complicit, except it has better characters, but the plot is not as impressive (setting is probably a big weakness in both).

First off, this book has some really interesting characters, and they do not get all muddled in my head – but it could with the fact that this is very easily read-in-one-sitting type of book. The writing, although not the most “descriptive” was perfect and suited the novel e
Autumn Crawford
When I started reading this book I was quite interested, but I changed my mind right away. The POV changed all the time, and I felt like the book was written about kids in high-school, so the author felt like he had to put in certain stereotypical aspects of the school life. The plot was really boring, in my opinion. I'm boy going to recommend or say not to read it. I disliked the book, because it didn't, personally, fit my reading description. It may suit anyone else, It really depends on the r ...more
Emma (Miss Print)
Blank Confession (2010) by Pete Hautman

Shayne Blank doesn't expect to make friends or even really get to know anyone when he comes to town. Then he walks into the police station to confess to a murder. Shayne's confession is woven with a narrative from the perspectives of Shayne's newest (most well-dressed) friend Mikey and the world weary detective interviewing Shayne.

The story here has good writing as well as an intriguing premise. Unfortunately that does not make for a good book in this case.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richie Partington
6 August 2010 BLANK CONFESSION by Pete Hautman, Simon & Schuster, November 2010, 176p., ISBN: 978-1-4169-1327-6

"An angel on a Harley
Pulls across to meet a fellow rolling stone
Puts his bike up on its stand
Leans back and then extends
A scarred and greasy hand
He said, 'How ya doin' bro?''
Where ya been?''
Where ya goin'?
'Then he takes your hand
In some strange California handshake
And breaks the bone"
-- Roger Waters, "5.01 AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Pt. 10)"

"Rawls walked back down the h
Shayne Blank has confessed to murdering someone. His confession is slowly revealed throughout the book as he tells his story. It is the story of his new friend Mikey who is being bullied by high school drug dealer Jon Brande. It is the story of Marie, Mikey's sister and Jon's girlfriend. It is the story of bullying and drug abuse. It is also the story of friendship. Shayne confesses to murder but did he really do it? And who is Shayne?

This little book definitely grabs your attention and holds it
Blank Confession
Pete Hautman
Simon & Schuster, BFYR
Library Copy
Shayne Blank, a 16 year old teen, confesses to murder during a two hour interview with detective Rawls at a local police station. The story unfolds in the alternating voices of Shayne, Rawls, and Mikey Martin, a short, smart mouth Haitian kid that Shayne befriends. Their story is told in flashbacks and narrative sequences with sharp, engaging dialogue.
As the story unfolds, the reader can see the events falling into place. Mik
Small Review
Much as I love a solid 250-350 page book (or series!), I always appreciate a well-told short novel. Clocking in at only 176 pages, Blank Confession doesn’t waste a single word and never feels rushed or under-developed. Instead, the reader is taken on multiple journeys following the various characters as their experiences intersect and build to a satisfying conclusion. These multiple perspectives flesh out the story and add character depth that could not have been accomplished as well with a diff ...more
Having never read a book by Pete Hautman before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had read a review from someone I know who loved it, and it sounded intriguing so I picked up a copy to see if my first impression was correct. Initially I was excited by this book. It was being told through the POV of a friend of Shayne’s who knew the story that he was telling to the cops. This was interesting but not fascinating. I didn’t really connect with the character and I feel that it made it VERY obviou ...more
Shallow things first: really like the interior page designs. Each chapter is headed with a manila folder tab telling us the narrator or the setting for each chapter. Cool and distinctive and thematically appropriate.

I was definitely interested in the story and the gradual ramping up of the tension. We know that someone is going to be dead by the end of the story - but did Shayne murder someone in cold blood? Was it someone who deserved it? Or an innocent bystander? Hautman does a great job of le
Cindy Hudson
Teenager Shayne Blank walks into the local police station with a confession: he has killed someone. Detective Rawls is skeptical, but agrees to take his statement. The story unfolds through chapters that tell what Rawls hears, and others told by Mikey, Shayne’s friend and frequent target of school bully and drug dealer Jon Brande.

When Shayne and Mikey first meet Shayne is new to school, and his story about his background keeps changing. One day his parents have both died and he lives with an aun
This was a strange book and the first book that I read by Pete Hautman. It kind of reminded me of "What happened to Cass McBride" by Gail Giles with the whole alternating chapters and the mystery.

I liked the alternating chapters because it gave the book a uniqueness that helped developed the story and all of the characters. With the story having a mystery part of it kept me reading because I wanted to find out more about if Shayne really did kill Jon.

I have very mixed feelings about the characte
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: book review 1 3 Nov 18, 2012 05:11PM  
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Pete Hautman is the author of Godless, which won the National Book Award, and many other critically acclaimed books for teens and adults, including Blank Confession, All-In, Rash, No Limit, and Invisible. Mr. Was was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Pete lives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visit him at
More about Pete Hautman...
Godless Rash Invisible Sweetblood The Big Crunch

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