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Right Behind You

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  4,841 Ratings  ·  487 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a nice read. It talks about the struggles of Kip McFarland, known as Wade Madison.

Setting a seven year old on fire in the age of nine, Kip was sent to junvile where he took many therapy lessons and anger management classes. After four years he was finally out, but indeed, they had to move out. During his time in junvile, people burnt his and his dad's cabin, his father lost his job, and the hate never stopped. But also, his father met a very lovely woman and after getting Kip's approve
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
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, 2008
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
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novelist-reviews
(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
Rebecca McNutt
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Disturbing but impressive book about a young man's hope to be accepted in society after committing an unspeakable act. Right Behind You provides a look into the mind of somebody asking for a chance, and its well-written and descriptive text is well-worth reading.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Right Behind You by Gail Giles is a new take into the mind of a child killer. Although most novels portraying the stories of child murderers, psychopaths, killers, or criminals use a more psychiatric approach, this novel, even though it is fiction, takes its approach by actually using the point of view of the criminal- in this case a child murderer. When I use the term “child murderer”, I am not referring to an adult who murders children; I’m referring to a child, who at a young age murdered an
Jocelyn Garcia
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Right Behind You by Gail Giles tells the story of Kip McFarland. At nine years old, Kip set his seven-year-old neighbor on fire because he was jealous of the baseball glove the boy received for his birthday. Three days later the boy died and Kip was committed to a juvenile facility for the criminally insane, where he spends the next four years in rehabilitation. When Kip is 14, he is finally released, and he, his father, and his stepmother move to a new town, with a new name, to restart their l ...more
Dec 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jessica Suhr
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Shannon Zasoba
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Right Behind You is a book about the mind of a child killer. A child, who at the age of 9 murdered another child. He was too young to go to jail so they put him in a juvenile facility. Throughout the book, you will see how much someone’s personal decisions affect themselves and their loved ones; it also talks about how much someone’s personal guilt never completely leaves them.

The beginning shows that from as early as his childhood, Kip has had a lot of dark feelings, especially about his paren
Shannon (aka The Tale Temptress)
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
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
At the young age of nine years old Kip finds himself feeling empty and jealous after his mothers death. Kips seven year old neighbor came over to show him his new baseball glove, Kip set him and the baseball glove on fire out of jealousy, the boy (the neighbor) died a couple days after that incident. Kip was sent to a juvenile facility for the criminally insane where he spent 5 years of his life. Now age 14 Kip is ready to try again in the real world, where he will live with his father and step ...more
Sarah (YA Love)
Gail Giles Right Behind You
282 pp. Little, Brown and Company 2007 ISBN 978-0-316-16637-9 $7.99
(High School)

Kip McFarland was only nine when he set his neighbor on fire and killed him. He didn’t know what he was doing in that moment of passion, but he suffered the consequences in a juvenile ward. Since being released, Kip’s dad has moved them into a different state with different names; a fresh start. Little does Kip realize that he can’t move forward when he hasn’t forgiven himself. Gail Gile
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, teen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-illness, 2015

Really enjoyed this!! I found the story really engaging. The book pulled me right in from start to finish. I was never bored while reading this. I got so attached to Kip as a character. To see his character development was amazing. This is a really short and powerful read. I think it could give so many people an insight. It shows a boy who made a huge mistake and how it affected him and others around him. We watch as he is trying to fight in and have a fresh start.

I would really love to r
Charles Lai
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book I read was Right Behind You by Gail Giles, which starts with a young 8 year old boy named Kip who lives in Alaska with his father. He is also a boy you would probably never meet in real life. There is one day where Kip's life will change forever, he was helping his dad with work when a kids named Bobby comes to him showing off his birthday gift. Then Kip lights Bobby on fire. After that Kip goes to a ward and also has a therapist. During his time in the ward many bad things happened to ...more
Bianca Frances
I absolutely loooooove this book! Every single bit of it!

When Kip was nine, he set a seven-year-old boy on fire. From Kip's perspective, it was a spur-of-the-moment kind of decision, but for everyone else, it was satanic. After Kip was released from juvenile, he took a different identity. It was time he started out fresh. But can Kip really leave the past that still haunts him?

Kip's struggle was so pure and beautifully written. It amazes me how his character developed from being unsure and inse
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all YA fans
Recommended to Claudia by: Tori
Giles does such a good job of portraying kids in emotional pain...thinking they deserve bad things to happen to them. I liked this one even better than SHATTERING GLASS, which is really saying something. She lets us into the mind and the heart of a young man who did something unthinkable as a child. But unforgivable? Many in their community think so, and so does Kip. Even given another chance in a new home he finds ways to continue to punish himself. I LOVED the mention of my high school in Merr ...more
Braden Pinney
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good book with a very interesting story line and shows various points of view. It's about a kid named Kip McFarland who lived in Alaska and accidentally set one of his neighbors kid on fire and has to go to a mental facility for the criminal insane. He stays at this facility for several years before being cleared to live in normal society again. This is the story of Kip and how he became Wade, started his live over in Pennsylvania, broke it down, and started over again in Texas ...more
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Sabrina Grafenberger
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
First of all: I recommend listening to the audio book; the narrator Joshua Swanson does a brilliant job.

This book started very strong. Great plot, well-written and an interesting main character (Kip is a funny smart-ass who loves books).

But then the beach part came and the story went downhill. I don't get why the author had to force a love story into the book? It didn't fit and suddenly the focus was on that.

It would have been a great read without the romance. As it is, it's just average.
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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...
“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)” 73 likes
“Just like the breakthroughs, the bad stuff always takes you by surprise. (121)” 30 likes
More quotes…