Right Behind You
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Right Behind You

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  3,198 ratings  ·  385 reviews
When he was nine, Kip set another child on fire. Now, after years in a juvenile ward, he is ready for a fresh start. But the ghosts of his past soon demand justice, and he must reveal his painful secret. How can Kip tell anyone that he really is--or was--a murderer?
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Right Behind You starts out strong, interesting and well written. It is the story of Kip, a guy who set fire to another kid when he was only nice years old. The thing is, Kip isn’t a psychotic kid. He has some anger control issues and some family issues… but for the most part, he is a normal kid who through circumstances beyond his control was in a position to set fire to the other kid, and Kip did it without a second thought. Until said kid burnt up and Kip’s life was forever altered.

For all o...more
I didn't know what to expect when I ordered this book, it arrived and I tackled it. It's out of my league on what type of book I usually read. It's Young Adult, true, but it's not M/M either and it's no romance novel either.

Basically it's about Kip and I'm not going to repeat what the summary already tells you about this book, but rather what it does not. It'll go into minute detail on what was going through Kip's mind when he was at the young age of 9 and set that boy on fire. A boy his age who...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2007 Bethany rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all teens
This book was fabulous! The story handles a very delicate issue of rehabilitation and a person's ability to carry on their life afer committing a horrible act.

A year after losing his mother to cancer, 9-year-old Kip McFarland's horrible act was that he set a 7-year-old boy on fire because he was jealous of the kid's baseball glove. How does a child recover from such a terrible thing? Well, for Kip, he spends 4 years in a lockdown psychiatric facility and with the love and support of his Dad and...more
Murderer. Murderer. Murderer. Those words resonate through Kip McFarland’s brain every time his name is spoken. I am a murderer. When Kip was only a kid, homeschooled in Alaska, he set fire and burned another child to death, by accident. Accident or no, the death stayed with him for every moment of his life. Kip was just getting rid of the aftereffects and the shock of watching his cousin and writhe and scream, but the memory never left him completely. The officials had already sent orders f...more
Kip McFarland is a murderer. In Alaska, Kip set a neighbor boy on fire when he was nine years old. Kip has spent years in a facility for violent juvenile offenders. Kip is 14 years old and is about to be released. It is time for Kip McFarland to disappear.

Starting over again in Indiana with his father and new stepmother, "Wade" enters school for the first time and tries to move away from his violent past. Things seem to be going swimmingly- he gets a best friend, a girlfriend, a newfound intere...more
When Kip was a child, he set another little boy on fire because of a baseball glove. After spending years in a lockdown mental ward, Kip has a chance at a new life. Because the hate of the community pushed out his father and stepmother, Kip and his family move from Alaska to Indiana and change their names. Now named Wade, Kip tries to pretend his crime never happened, yet he is consumed by crushing guilt that becomes self-destructive.

Kip's behavior was spot-on with someone feeling the way he doe...more
(Disclosure: I blurbed this book)

From the get-go, Giles catapults readers into this story of rage and redemption. The book begins with Kip as a child setting his seven-year-old neighbor in Alaska on fire, then follows his time in a facility for violent juvenile offenders, and his release back out into the world. Rather than asking the common question about violent teens (why?), Giles dares to ask a harder one (what now?). As in her previous novels, Giles spins a page-turning tale of psychologica...more
Erin Reilly-Sanders
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When I picked this book up, I never expected to like the main character, Kip. At the time the book opens, Kip, nine, sets his friend Bobbie, seven, on fire over a baseball glove. Bobby dies.
Kip then becomes a product of the system when he is placed in a facility for violent juvenile offenders. Worse, he becomes a product of what he believes other see him as: a child murderer and a monster. As he matures from child to teenager he uncovers the truth—even though he committed an atrocious act, he is...more
Shannon (aka Readergirl)
Let me start out by saying that I was prepared to hate this book. I have very strongly held opinions on certain things, and one of them is that it's completely unforgiveable for someone to murder a child, even if the perpetrator was a child himself. I often cling to my beliefs and stubbornly refuse to be swayed, even, I'm ashamed to admit, when someone can logic me out of them. This book shook my beliefs.

I found myself becoming so sympathetic to Kip/Wade, even if I didn't want to. There were ext...more
Several things are inexplicably popular, at least allegedly, despite the fact that hardly anybody actually likes them. Evidence of this is seen with Fruit-Roll-Ups- nobody eats those anymore- and the Republican Party. Another good example is Social Issue Novels, which if awards like the Gateway are to be believed are the absolute most popular class of novel for teenagers. This is not true. Nobody reads social issue novels. Teenagers hate being told what to do with their lives; did you really thi...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Suhr
How do you define "crazy" or "criminal"? This book highlights the courage and strength it takes one boy to overcome his past and grow back into a normal societal setting. Kip McFarland lost his mother when he was just 9 years old, and blamed her for leaving him and not trying to get hospital care for her cancer. Kip's Dad became distant and living in Alaska, Kip wasn't really close to many kids his age. The story starts off with a boy lost looking for some kind of happiness. He is taunted by hi...more
Rebecca (BookBacon)
Read this review and others @ http://www.bookbacon.com

I waited for Kip/Wade to jump into the deep end, but he never stopped wading through shallow waters.
He killed a kid. You knew this the first time you read the book jacket and thought it sounded intriguing.

Even after the first few chapters I was impressed by the author’s ability to hook you into a story, where kids kill others for sheer pleasure and the “loonies” are no laughing matter.


Somewhere in the middle, when the book covered three...more
Sep 28, 2007 Meaghan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenagers and true crime buffs
This was definitely Gail Giles's best book, after Shattering Glass. Kip McFarland burned another child to death at the age of nine and spent the next several years inside a mental institution. Now he's been released, but can he ever release himself from the guilt? This topic is definitely relevant in today's world, given all the press about juveniles committing violent crimes, and I thought it was a wonderful journey of guilt, forgiveness and redemption.
I had previously read What Happened To Cass McBride by the same author. From the way everyone talked about it, I was expecting it to be more intense then it was. The summaary of the book grabbed my attention. "When I was 9 I set my 7 year old neighbor on fire" Kip is trying to start fresh in a new town, hoping his past will not catch up to him. It was very hard to put down. Great reading for a rainy Saturday.
This was pretty good. I didn't realise when I ordered it it was a YA book but it is still a good story.

In terms of reading it for the state challenge it does give you a bit of a feel for the place. It sounds cold lol

A young boy sets another child on fire, the result of anger - his anger was justifiable given what he was going through at the time, but his actions were not. The child dies and Kip is sent to a Juvenile Secure Ward.

Upon his release it is necessary to move, change names and attempt...more
Brandon McCarthy
The book I read for second quarter was Right Behind You by Gail Giles. It is a traditional novel, with different parts and chapters. And let me begin by saying that it was very hard for me to read this book. The main character, Kip McFarland, lives everyday with a horror movie being replayed in his mind. Again, and again, and again. When he was nine years old in a fit of rage, he lit another kid on fire, and the boy ended up dying. The story makes it clear that Kip isn't a bad person though. He...more
Monica Michaels
i loved this book!it was so real and amazing.it was nice to have a book where you had to think. i loved the characters and the way they handeled things. i wish i could forget this book so i could be amazed again and again!!
Nikki Hill
i thought this was a really good book.it had its twists in it.im glad he finally found a life outside of what he did and is now able to deal with it and found someone he could trust to tell his secret to.
Holy smokes...Gail Giles is awesome. This book is awesome. I just finished it and am feeling like I went through some heavy lifting. Just...wow.
Yet another brilliant book by Gail Giles. She has such a deceptively simple writing style.
Charlie Thomson
This book was one of my favorites. Right in my genre. The story being about a kid who couldn't escape the past, but finally escapes after a life of depression and no trust.This was the first book i read by Giles and certainly not my last. There was also a great segway and cliffhanger at each part.

The humor was fantastic, I laughed hard at sometimes, but i also had some emotional times and I'm a guy. The book touched me. I wish the book would have a sequel. The story could continue if you ask me...more
I think I found my favorite. :)
Jul 26, 2007 Linda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens
Shelves: othello-themed
Another great read from Gail Giles.
Pj Armentrout
right behind you was one of the most unique book i have ever read! i was ecstatic to find out that i could actually relate to the book so well. i knew exactly how the kid kip felt when he was in the psychriatric hospital, all the emotions and feelings that ran through his mind when he first got there and his entire time being in there. i know how it feels to be locked in those places down to the fine point! i've been in two psych hospitals, one was worse than the other way worse, it scared me ha...more
A gutting and distinctive premise combined with a strong YA voice mixed with potent writing make Right Behind You a visceral read. This book is a perfect example of the gray areas often overlooked in any violent act, something that seems on the surface horrible and the blame easy to place. Giles does a remarkable job twisting the situation, spotlighting how there are often two victims rather than one in any violent crime.

Kip remembers setting Bobby Clark on fire when he was just nine. He remembe...more
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[SPOILERS] What would you do if you were in Sam's position? 2 10 Jun 07, 2013 03:25AM  
Anyone else think this was the best/saddest book ever? 4 14 Jul 22, 2012 02:38PM  
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Gail Giles is the author of six young adult novels. Her debut novel, Shattering Glass, was an ALA Best of the Best Book, a Book Sense 76 selection, and a Booklist Top 10 Mystery for Youth selection. The novel is about an high school boy named Simon Glass that is helped to become one of the most popular dogs in school by other students. Her second novel, Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters, was an ALA T...more
More about Gail Giles...
What Happened to Cass McBride? Shattering Glass Dead Girls Don't Write Letters Dark Song Playing in Traffic

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“I figured out that I can't forget. I can't really forgive. But I can live. Live with it. Like you live with a scar or a limp or whatever. You always know it's there. It reminds you never to let yourself do anything so stupid and horrible and wrong again. I step out of my rut, step again, and keep stepping. (277)” 56 likes
“Just like the breakthroughs, the bad stuff always takes you by surprise. (121)” 23 likes
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