Rad's Reviews > Surrender
** spoiler alert ** Told mostly in flashbacks, this Printz honor book, while at first bogged down by overly-descriptive passages, regains its narrative speed once the present (in which protagonist Gabriel/Anwell lies dying in a hospital of some kind) gives way to the past (in which the real plot – regarding a mischievous boy named Finnigan, a beautiful girl named Evangeline, and a feral dog named Surrender – unfolds). What is likely to captivate the reader is Gabriel’s struggle, in the past, to live with certain hardships – his parents are at best cruel and at worst abusive, the whole town knows him only as a kook, and he is responsible for his mentally retarded brother’s death. On top of it all, he has Finnigan, a “gypsy” boy whose hobby is arson. The stories of both Gabriel and Finnigan go by their separate threads, winding around each other over the course of the narrative arc, but finally come together in an ending that could only be described as terribly ambiguous.
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