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Dead to You

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  5,853 ratings  ·  1,176 reviews
Some memories are better left untouched.

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family.

It's a miracle... at first.

Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything,
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Simon Pulse (first published February 7th 2010)
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Brandi In my personal opinion, yes. The beginning starts off kind of slow, but it's worth it because the ending is ridiculous!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Raeleen Lemay
FREAKING WHAAAAT? LISA McMANN, YOU CRAZY WOMAN. Throughout the entire book I was really enjoying it, and I figured it would get 4 stars, but then the ending... THE ENDING. I had no choice. I read this book in a day, it was crazy wonderful. READ IT.

Here's what I did upon reading the last few pages of this book:

At first I was like

and then I was like

and now I'm just like
Aj the Ravenous Reader

This is a very rare and unique YA story of a young man's battle with his own identity. How often do you get to read about a teenage boy who was abducted at age seven and then gets returned to his family nine years later? The story's premise alone is already very interesting
and Ethan's character is very easy to like. You can’t help but sympathize with him.

As the reader, you would want to guarantee that Ethan's life after he's reconciled with his family will be as comfortable and as easy as possi
Ethan was abducted at the age of 7 and was raised by a woman who abandoned him years later. At 16 years old, he is reunited with his real parents, younger brother Blake and his sister Gracie who was born after Ethan was kidnapped. The book shows the family's struggle with each other as Ethan re-enters their lives without remembering his past.

I enjoyed the beginning of this book which seemed so promising. I felt real bad for Ethan and all that he went through. The family's feelings and reaction s

That's the first word that comes to mind after finishing Lisa McMann's DEAD TO YOU, because damn, you guys. This book was one helluva ride.

The plot and premise was absolutely stunning. Sixteen-year old Ethan, abducted at the age of seven, has finally returned to his family. It should be a time of rejoicing and glee, but there are secrets and memories that Ethan can't unlock, and it will rip his whole family apart.

I've always been interested in kidnappings, serial murders, and those fas

no really, did that just happen?!?!?!?!?!

Watch out Spoilers probably ahead...

I'll get to that wtf moment in a bit, I guess I should start from the beginning...
So basically this 7 year old kid, Ethan was abducted from his family. It has been 9 years and they get the call that Ethan has been found. He is coming home. This poor kid lived with his "abducter" Ellen for a while and then she decided to dump him of at a kids' home in some bum-fu@! town where there are "no ques
I have no idea what just happened in the last 3 pages of this book and I have no idea how I feel about it! I am in complete shock right now...

After thinking about this for awhile I have come to the conclusion that I am pissed! I mean very much over the top pissed. What in the world happened??!! How can it possibly end that way??!! Ms.McMann has managed to take everything I thought I felt about this little world that she created and obliterated it with three pages of words.
The story was such a ro
H.D. Tolson
"Brimming with intrigue and mystery, readers will be sucked into Lisa McMann's latest and best novel to date. Be sure you have a free schedule! You won't be able to stop reading until it's done!"

There's a certain point when a book crosses from a great book to The Book. The Book made by the angels of Heaven and delivered by Jesus himself to an author. It's blessed, it's magical, it's everything a book needs to be and more. Dead To You by Lisa McMann was delivered Priority Mail from God himself. H

Wow! is all I can say in response to Lisa McMann's new novel, DEAD TO YOU. Once again, she's hit it out of the ballpark . . . okay, maybe out of twelve ballparks. I dare say it's McMann's best novel yet.

The story begins at breakneck pace and you're quickly given whiplash, but don't worry! It's the good kind of whiplash, the pace you wish all books were written at. When we start the novel, Ethan is with Child Protective Services, about to meet his family, the one that he was taken away from nin
Family will always be there. Through thick or thin, good times, hard times, and harder times. Right? But how can a family’s faith, hope, and trust survive in the face of excruciating uncertainty and pain?

In Lisa McMann’s Dead to You the DeWilde family’s world is altered forever when seven year old Ethan is kidnapped from right outside their home. Now nine years later, Ethan has been found and returned to his home and family, but can a broken family torn apart for so long really be healed? Memori
Every element of the story was very predictable. How everyone reacts, the relationships that develop, Ethan's problems adjusting, etc. were all pretty much what one would expect from the situation. I don't really feel like there was anything new or ground-breaking done here. In fact, the novel ends right where I think the real story begins.

(view spoiler)
I was going to give this a 4 bc whe i added up my different rating like, cover, plot, etc, i got 4 but this ending made me bump it up.
Review to come but for now, enjoy my reaction to the ending

Kimberly Sabatini
I had a little bit of an obsession with the book that only got worse when l got to the ending. I found myself reading DEAD TO YOU every chance I could get. In my opinion, McMann's BEST BOOK YET!!!! I'm gonna shut up now, so I don't spoil it for you. *zip*
Mar 13, 2012 kari rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012, ya
Whoa! WHOA!WHOA! Back this thing up so I can wrap my head around what in the heck just happened.
I love McMann's writing style, always very sparse and immediate, compelling to read. Characters that are clearly drawn and effectively engaging, pulling you into the story.
This is going to be very brief because I don't want to have any spoilers.
Great read. Sad.
sunset shimmer
Dear Ms. McMann,


I can't.

I just can't.

Sincerely, someone that just had their heart and brain obliterated by you. All at the same time.
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I don't know guys. I tried, I really did, but I guess I'm just not a fan of Lisa McMann's work. And Dead to You wasn't any different. While the concept sounded really good, it lacked in the execution of the story. The ending was predictable from the very beginning, which took away from the reading experience. I did like the main character's relationship with little Gracie, as well as the open ending.

But seriously, you come home after being kidnapped for fifteen years and the first thing you do
Wow, what an amazing story! I was sucked in from the very first page and could not put down the book. I oftened wondered what happens if a child is reunited with their family after years of abduction. Lisa really hit this one out of the park. I felt so sorry for all parties involved because we know how difficult it is for the familes who lost a loved one but, we don't stop to think about the effects and how hard it is for the child to be reaquanted with their family. As always, Lisa throws in a ...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I really can't say enough good things about Lisa McMann's writing. It is often simplistic, true, but considering she writes YA fiction, that's unsurprising. Sometimes the prose gets a little monotonous (like when Ethan keeps saying, "That kills me. It really does."), but it is, at least, realistically juvenile speech. Is it better than teenagers who sound like adults? Yes and no. It can be annoying, but reality makes for a more interesting read, in my humble opinion. At least in this case.

My fi
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
4.5 stars

A dark, realistic read that's chilly, horrifying, and mysterious. This is an emotionally gripping read that will hold you captive until the very last page.

In true Lisa McMann style she managed to yet again emotionally pull me into her book and totally take me for unexpected emotional roller-coaster of a ride. Let me first say, realistic contemporary books are normally not my thing, but it became my thing, because Lisa wrote it. I'm a HUGE fan of Lisa's. She isn't afraid to bring the gr
Joy (joyous reads)
This is the worst nightmare every parent could ever imagine. When your child gets abducted right in front of your house followed by years and years of searching and wondering. Wondering how he or she is, whether or not he's he eating good? Where is he?

Ethan Manuel De Wilde got abducted when he was seven. Nine years later, he stood facing a family that he was positive was his. It was awkward at first; after all, they're practically strangers. The adjustment was a little difficult but w
Linda Lipko
Many thanks to Terri (Tymfos) for recommending this excellent book. It was difficult to put down once I began to read the first page.

Abducted at seven, Ethan miraculously locates his biological parents when he is 16 years old. With his family, a small town community celebrates his return. Finding a lapse in memories and a difficult adjustment to "normalcy" after years of abuse, neglect, homelessness and abandonment, Ethan struggles to belong.

Desperately wanting to fit in, to belong, to be loved,
Honestly, I can't say I was too surprised by the ending. I've seen plenty of "OMG WTF WAS THAT?!" reviews on the ending.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's one helluva cliffhanger for a stand alone(?)and it's not really a BAD cliffhanger.

But. . . .

It's been done before.

If you haven't seen the movie "Changeling" starring Angelina Joelie, and you've read Dead to You, then go watch it and you'll get what I mean. The whole idea of that with the changeling (no it's not about faeries, but a boy who was kid
Greta Logan
"Dead To You" has probably the most unlikable main character I have ever met. Ethan is a selfish, idiotic, rude, pissy, temper-tantrum throwing moron who doesn't appreciate the good things that are happening to him and only focuses on the bad.

"But he's a teenager, right, and on top of that, someone who's been through some pretty terrible times." All right, I dare you. Try liking this character. Just try. Ethan never gives us one good character trait to make us invested in the story, never does o
Donna (Jaevenstar)
Holy Hell! I am so glad I got to read this book! First of all, Lisa's writing style is fantastic. I know some have a hard time with it, but I love it. I felt like I was coming home when I started reading it. It was so familiar.

The story is amazing! I can't tell much about it because I don't want to spoil anything for you. But I will tell you this: GO READ THIS BOOK!

Portia Lynn


I see why the reviews are so extreme, either love it or hate it. This was severely underwhelming and did not give me the big shocking ending I was led to believe existed.
Sherry Zhang
::SOME SPOILERS (not the ending)::

Ok, first off, this is probably a 3.5 because of two main parts of the story - what made me lean towards the 4 instead of 3 was because I genuinely loved this book, (not that I don't right now, but I'll get to that later) and there were really only two main "letdowns".

I really liked many of the ideas in the story that make things seem real, such as Ethan's laughing panic attacks and how he still likes Ellen and thinks of her as a mother figure. I don't know muc
Lindsay Cummings
I have always been a fan of Lisa McMann's work. She's one of those authors that, no matter how different her novel concepts are, I can always tell when it's got her flair. The simple but effective writing style is one that I don't typically get into, but somehow, when it's one of Lisa's books I always get sucked right in!

I've read all of this author's other YA books, (Wake series, Cryer's Cross) and you guys...she's got a deliciously twisted mind. In DEAD TO YOU, there is some seriously chilling
McMann's minimalistic, modern prose style is evident in Dead to You. Her careful use of language has far more impact and evokes far more emotion than it would were thelanguage to be unnecessarily dramatic. In other words, I felt that the lack of emotion has the adverse effect. Also successful is Ethan's gradual acclimation to a family he belongs to but who feel like strangers to him. His attachment to his sister is endearing and his brother's continuous hostility is puzzling.

The pace is measure
Kelly Hager
After being kidnapped when he was seven, Ethan is finally on his way home to his family (he's now 16). He doesn't remember his parents or younger brother, and he's less than pleased that he has a new little sister (who he immediately dubs the Replacement Child) but he knows he's where he belongs. Except he has a hard time adjusting and his brother is convinced that whoever that guy is, it's not his brother, Ethan. Can he ever fit back in, or has too much time passed?

I seriously couldn't stop rea
Sab H.  (YA Bliss)
So deliciously haunting and gripping that I could not make myself put it down. I stayed up reading and ended up shocked and amazed when I closed the book. I'm a big fan of Lisa's writing, because she goes to the point without being all gooey or overdone.

It's an unusual storyline, hard to relate but easy to imagine, and the fact that there's so much more going on than what we can appreciate from Ethan's narration makes it more mysterious. There's a certain point where you might predict the big tw
Brad Sells
An absolute gem of a mystery!

In Dead to You, Lisa McMann presents us with a story with well-thought out characters, a dark and, in a way, frightening novel, and a writing style that hooks the reader into the story.

First, the characters. Ethan was... different for me. Yes, he was abducted when he was little, but his voice at sometimes was just so flat and bland, while other times, he would be full of rage or be sparky. Ethan's mom was my favorite. I believe that everybody needs their own person c
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First words 8 34 Apr 07, 2015 07:42AM  
where's the ending? 20 155 Apr 07, 2015 07:38AM  
Dead to you 2 11 Jan 27, 2015 02:10PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Dead To You by Lisa McMann → Start Date: February 22, 2014 25 28 Feb 27, 2014 03:34AM  
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Lisa McMann lives and writes in the Phoenix area. Her books include the NYT bestselling THE UNWANTEDS series (Book 5, Unwanteds: ISLAND OF SHIPWRECKS, comes out Feb 3, 2015) and the YA paranormal WAKE trilogy. Other books include the VISIONS trilogy, CRYER'S CROSS, DEAD TO YOU, and Infinity Ring: The Trap Door.

You can find more info at Lisa'a website,, interact with her on Facebook
More about Lisa McMann...
Wake (Dream Catcher, #1) Fade (Dream Catcher, #2) Gone (Dream Catcher, #3) The Unwanteds (Unwanteds, #1) Cryer's Cross

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“Because if you don't have at least one person believing in you, then there's not much reason to give a shit about anything.” 30 likes
“Feels like I'm in a play and I don't know all my lines.” 15 likes
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