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Head Case

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  199 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
ONE MISTAKE. ONE BAD NIGHT. ONE TOO MANY DRINKS. A powerful and heartbreaking debut novel about a guy who had it all...until he drank that fifth beer and got into the car.Frank Marder is a head, paralyzed from the neck down, and it's his fault. He was drinking. He was driving. Now Frank can't walk, he can't move, he can't feel his skin. He needs someone to feed him, to was ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Roaring Brook Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 774)
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Apr 25, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
This is the story of a boy who drives drunk, has an accident, and his life is changed forever. Some might even say "ruined." It's kind of a claustrophobic book to read because he is so trapped. He can't do anything for himself. Well, he can talk and blink and chew. That's not the worst it could have been, but once you lose your limbs, it's basically over.

This is a quick read, but still emotional. It's a strange feeling to hope someone kills the main character, or he magically dies -- not because
Jul 02, 2013 Karissa rated it liked it
Shelves: library-2013
This is a good cautionary tale book about drinking and driving. Frank's character was believable, considering his new situation. He was surly but at the same time you couldn't help but feel horrible for him.
After a horrible car accident Frank is left a quadriplegic, and his girlfriend is dead. He cannot feel anything beneath his head, and he can't even really move that on his own. Many people in town think he doesn't deserve to live, that he should spent the rest of his life in jail since he wa
Jul 29, 2015 Meredith rated it liked it
For a first novel, this is not bad at all. I actually enjoyed it. I gave it 3 stars because I wanted more. I felt like it was predictable, slow moving, minor characters are mentioned and forgotten. Overall, it felt like this would make a great movie to warn people against drunk driving. Once I started reading the book from that perspective, I enjoyed it much more. The long pauses, the stares from people, the struggles in adjusting to home, that nightmares that Frank had, it all was much more vi ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Brandonries rated it liked it
This book was interesting... This guy was at a party with his girlfriend and he was really drunk and he and his girlfriend try to leave the party still very drunk yet and they end up getting in a crash killing his girlfriend, paralyzing him from the neck down so he can't feel anything from his head down and killing the guy that he hit. Now he is in a really weird wheelchair. But the part that I thought was really strange was the cops didn't put him in jail the cops said "if he is paralyzed from ...more
Amy Potts Ostrowski
Jun 14, 2016 Amy Potts Ostrowski rated it really liked it
While this one can't go on my middle school shelf, I would recommend it to high schoolers both reluctant readers and avid readers and everyone in between. Frank, the main character, is a kid high schoolers should be able to relate to--a relatively good teen who makes a bad choice one night, and it leaves him paralyzed from the neck down, and an accused murderer by many in the community. Aronson does a spectacular job of leaving the preaching out of the book, though, making Head Case a likely can ...more
Jun 28, 2014 Ashley rated it it was ok
This was a decent enough book. However, one thing I couldn't stand was that the author was trying to pin the detractors online as "bad" and "judgemental." But they were RIGHT. Our main character killed two people because of his own stupid mistake. While I don't think he should have gone to jail, I have no sympathy for what happens to someone who drinks while driving and commits vehicular manslaughter.
Jul 30, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Got lots from this book by Sarah Aronson. Structurally very interesting with lots of flashback to fill in the steps leading to Frank's horrible car accident, which was completely Frank's fault for drinking and driving. The accident killed people and left Frank in a wheelchair without use of his arms and legs. I felt like I was in the chair with Frank while I read and it was terrifying. Sarah obviously knows the real details of life in a wheelchair - the challenges of learning to steer with no ar ...more
Jun 05, 2008 Hazel rated it it was ok
One too many drinks and Frank Marder's life is forever changed. Coming home he gets in a car crash...killing his girlfriend, his friend, and paralyzed from the neck down. A senior in high school and his entire life is in the him. Hes being villafied on a blog website by every one in the town for killing two inocent people, he can no longer do anything a noraml kid can do: he has to be cleaned, fed, and put to bed. Even his family secrets of unfaithfullness begin to show be ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for

Frank Marder lost control.

First of his car, then of his body. Now he's stuck -- trapped inside a body that's failed him. He can't move his legs. He can't move his arms. As a "head," it seems all Frank can do is think.

Unfortunately, thinking is the last thing a guy who killed two people wants to do.

HEAD CASE follows the post-rehab life of a quadriplegic in his first weeks home after a devastating drunk driving accident resulting in the death of h
Jan 12, 2016 Tanner rated it liked it
I thought this book was very interesting, I also thought it was an entertaining book and made me keep on reading. It talks about what he thought and those kind of things. He gets paralyzed because he was drunk when he was driving and he ended up killing his girlfriend, I would rate this book a 8 out of 10
Ariel Uppstrom
Aug 02, 2010 Ariel Uppstrom rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting book. It dealt with really difficult subjects, drunk driving, teen death, and disabilities. The way that Aronson wrote about Frank (the main character's) experience was very captivating. I enjoyed the back and forth between the past and present events. I also respected the way she didn't gloss over the frustration Frank felt at being taken away from his body at such a young age. The fact that she discussed his sexual frustrations and guilt was realistic and poignant ...more
Gerardo Corripio
Dec 19, 2014 Gerardo Corripio rated it liked it
Sometimes, especially with teenagers, accidents like the one Frank had, and the consequences, is all it takes to turn lives around! even more, how society sometimes is hessitant to forgive! Very good book indeed! Left me a positive message!
Joshua McBean
This book was very sad. It was about a teenager named Frank who was drinking and driving with his girlfriend, they then go into a car accident when a old man crossed the street. He killed the man and rolled the car over several times and his girlfriend, Merideth was ejected from the car. After the crash he woke up in the hospital, paralyzed from the neck down. He can't move and musle and many hate him because he killed her. Frank never meant to do this it just happened. Some people understand th ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Kendra rated it liked it
I find this interesting I know a PT wrote it but I find it applicable to my future profession as well. It is an interesting perspective I have never seen tackled before. I think this book could have been longer I would have liked to see more development of the story line. I think this was a very interesting perspective but I would have liked to have seen more resolution, it was just too short. It also was all over the place in the past, in the present, at the end I still had a lot more questions ...more
Kelly Brown
Apr 15, 2016 Kelly Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kelly-s-books
This was a cut to the chase book that really hit it home about what drinking and driving can do to young people. Far too often teenagers feel that nothing bad will happen to them and this book shows them what can happen. There is frank talk about drinking, sex, and other topics so be prepared for that.
Matt Franks
Jun 12, 2014 Matt Franks rated it liked it
This book is about a boy who went to a party with his girlfriend. They got in an arguement and left the party drunk. The boy drove furiously and killed his girlfriend and another guy walking in the street. Now Frank is paralazed from the neck down and lives his life telling his sotry. i recomend this book to anyone who could relate to it.
Levi Williamson
Dec 22, 2013 Levi Williamson rated it it was amazing
In this book a young man named Frank Marder, is in a drunken car accident. Which happens to kill a old man walking across the street, and his girlfriend. Frank survives, but is he really alive? He is paralyzed from the neck down.

That is what the book is about. This is my opinion. It is a very sad book, meaning it isn't meant to enlighten your heart about the good people can have after becoming paralyzed. Also to note-This book features swearing,sexual content, and some violence. However, I feel
Damera Blincoe
Feb 21, 2011 Damera Blincoe rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
This book is about a boy named Frank Marder who drives his car from a party one day drunk and kills two people, his girlfriend and an old man. The story begins with Frank in the hospital and what happens in the days and weeks after the accident. What I liked about this book is it got straight to the consequences of drinking and driving. Frank has to deal with the aftermath of this accident. This is a perfect book for teenagers who are just receiving their drivers licenses. It tells them what not ...more
Chandra Hill
Jan 19, 2016 Chandra Hill marked it as to-read
I love this book it gave me the reality of life.
May 24, 2010 Vivian rated it it was ok
Started forty five minutes ago, Placed the book down a minute ago. Only got through about 60 pages before I had enough.
In almost every single chapter, it went on and on about the same thing: the main character regretting his actions, mourning over not being able to have a sex life. And... I'm just getting tired of it. I wanted to like this book but unfortunately, it feels like a chore to read this. I'll abandon this book for now.
Elaine Warner
Jul 18, 2009 Elaine Warner rated it really liked it
Frank is a quadriplegic, or as he thinks of himself, a head. His drunk driving caused an accident which killed his girlfriend and an old man on the street and left him paralyzed. It is a very eye-opening book about what it would be like to exist as just a head. But the part that really stuck with me was when Frank said that the world should allow for a cosmic do-over. What would you go back and do over in your life?
Apr 10, 2012 Angelica rated it liked it
This was a sad and quick read. The book took me a couple of hours to read. Pretty good book overall, but I wasn't expecting the main character to be making so many sexual references. I wished it would have told you more about his life, about as he got older.... that kind of thing. But it was a pretty good book, I would recommend it to someone looking for a quick read.
Oct 14, 2007 Trevor rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-lit-read
After a drunk-driving accident, two people are dead and 17-year-old Frank, is, well, "a head." He is a quadrapolegic, a survivor, and based on that, the people in his town clamor to see him punished further. As a survivor, Frank has to decide how he must live as this short novel takes us through eight weeks of Frank's post-accident life.
Nov 04, 2009 Ann added it
Shelves: 2008, contemporary
Ages 14+ (sex, language, drinking) Successfully incorporates the hyperconnected world of the net with teen gossip to the story of a boy who is only a "head" - a complete quadriplegiac after a car accident which also leaves his girlfriend and another man dead. Pair with Susan Vaught's "Trigger" for a severe injury as a result of life choices.
Frank has plenty of time to think about the fact that he killed two people because he chose to get behind the wheel after having a few too many beers. Now his pseudo-girlfriend and a neighbor are dead because of his actions. Yes, he is a quadriplegic and will never be able to do anything for himself.

But there are people who disagree...
Karen Barba
Mar 16, 2010 Karen Barba rated it really liked it
This nook talks about how a very young man went to a party with his suppose girlfriend, they got in an arguement left the party drunk, the young man was driving furious and killed to people which were his girlfriend and some old guy walking in the street. Now the young man is paralyzed from his neck down.
Feb 24, 2008 Connie rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, booktalked
gives the reader insight into what it would be like to go from being able-bodied to becoming quadriplegic, without being overly didactic. in fact, i'm still trying to decide if i even liked the protagonist. it also doesn't shy away from the sex talk, which you know teens (well, all of us) wonder about.
May 22, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it
Meet Frank. He's just a head. After a car accident leaves him a parapalegic, he's forced to rethink his life: he can't bathe or feed himself, roll over, or go anywhere without assistance. This book portrays the horror, rage, and frustration that injured spinal cord patients suffer. So well done!
Jul 03, 2016 Kerri rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Heartbreaking. Terrifying. A book everyone should read, especially 'invincible' teenagers. I have never read a book that put me so realistically into another person's head... And made me want to escape so badly.
Zoe Kauffman
Dec 20, 2013 Zoe Kauffman rated it it was amazing
This was a good book. It is about a boy who has a terrible accident and because of it is reminded of it everyday. It has the lesson of thinking before you do something oe some day you might regret it.
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SE Reading Buffs ...: Head case review 2 3 Apr 24, 2015 10:53AM  
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Sarah Aronson grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She is the oldest of three sisters. She graduated from Liberty High School. Her best years: 1973 and 1978, when the family lived in York, England. Claims to fame: Won the drama award. Could parallel park a 1973 Impala station wagon. Got out alive.
More about Sarah Aronson...

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