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And Then There Were Four
Cover of And Then There Were Four
And Then There Were Four
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New York Times bestselling author Nancy Werlin returns to YA suspense with this page-turner mystery for fans of Lauren Oliver, Neal Shusterman, and Lois Duncan Let's not die today. Not even to make...
New York Times bestselling author Nancy Werlin returns to YA suspense with this page-turner mystery for fans of Lauren Oliver, Neal Shusterman, and Lois Duncan Let's not die today. Not even to make...
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  • New York Times bestselling author Nancy Werlin returns to YA suspense with this page-turner mystery for fans of Lauren Oliver, Neal Shusterman, and Lois Duncan

    Let's not die today. Not even to make things easier for our parents.

    When a building collapses around five teenagers—and they just barely escape—they know something strange is going on. Little by little, the group pieces together a theory: Their parents are working together to kill them all. Is it true? And if so, how did their parents come together—and why? And, most importantly, how can the five of them work together to save themselves? With an unlikely group of heroes, sky-high stakes, and two budding romances, this gripping murder mystery will keep readers guessing until the last page.
    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter 1: Caleb

    It is your new nightly ritual, as automatic as showering or brushing your teeth or thinking about her. You feed innocent paper into the teeth of the shredder. Then you put the scraps on the floor.

    You shape them into a circle or a square or—you did this once, whimsically—a hand holding a cane. The pattern can be anything, as long as you position it in front of your dorm room door. That way, if you leave the room that night, in the morning you will know you did it.

    Whatever it is.

    The paper shreds have never been disturbed yet, not once, which is surprising and interesting. You're uncertain what to make of this.

    One thing is true. You are not a little boy anymore. You are seventeen, and you don't believe in Mommy keeping you safe or in friends having your back or in anybody, including you, understanding the difference between good and evil.

    You do, however, believe in the indifference of humanity and the absolute inevitability of your own destruction.

    You never asked to be what you are. Why you? At this point, you rarely bother to ask that question. Why is a child's question, and there's never a good answer, not from him, not for you.

    Because. That's the answer. His answer, and now also yours.

    Because you are a monster.

    Because you are too damn fucking tired.

    One day soon, maybe tomorrow, you will stop fighting. You will go down. You will be done.

    For tonight, though, you shape the hand and cane again, working the confetti to represent her small, determined fingers. You haven't bothered to learn her name, and you don't plan to. She's nothing to do with you.

    But her world is a good place, you felt sure of that from the first time you saw her. You're glad for her, that she lives there and not where you do.

    She's alive in the world. It is enough for you.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 1, 2017
    Five teenagers at New York City’s prestigious Rockland Academy uncover a murder plot, and signs point to their parents as the killers. Drawing heavily on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and glossy dramas like Pretty Little Liars, Werlin (Extraordinary) bands her teens around tragedy rather than common interest. There’s Saralinda de la Flor, an outcast with diabetes and a club foot; Antoine Dubois, star soccer player and class president; Caleb Colchester, son of an eminent psychiatrist, who claims to have a Mr. Hyde–like dark side; Evangeline Song, the acerbic, beautiful brain; and Martha “Kenyon” McKenyon, the proudly queer transfer student with a tragic backstory. Gathering for a student leaders meeting in a rundown corner of the school, the gang narrowly escapes death when the roof caves in, and that’s just the beginning of a series of not-accidents aimed at knocking them off. The teens’ leap to determining that their parents may be responsible is a stretch, particularly given the ensemble cast, but Werlin creates palpable suspense as she alternates between Saralinda and Caleb’s points of view. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2017
    After a roof mysteriously collapses on five students from Rockland Academy, the teens realize their parents wants them dead. One teen is white, one is a brown-skinned Haitian-American, one is Korean-American, one is Latino, and one is "darkish." Two of them alternate narration as the group investigates the convoluted conspiracy, growing desperate after one member is murdered. Brown-skinned Saralinda, who juggles a club foot, diabetes, an overprotective mother, and a quirky cane named Georgia, narrates in flowery, frantic, run-on sentences that reveal her oddly self-deprecating wit as well as the anxiety engendered by her mother's constant supervision. Caleb, the Latino son of a famous psychiatrist, narrates in the second person, believing that an "internal evil twin" performs terrible deeds he can't remember. Their distinct voices and their conflicting feelings toward their parents (and each other) would pack quite an emotional punch were the narrative's focus on them a little sharper. The other characters' expository back stories are crowded with drama, but there's little room to develop their rather one-note personalities amid helicopter chases; exploding cars; escapes aided by convenient kind strangers; burgeoning straight and (hackneyed) lesbian romance; surprising weapons; elaborate ruses; and timely confessions. Filicide, still a somewhat taboo and weighty issue, feels reduced to another gimmick in the onslaught of over-the-top schemes. Fans of nonstop action will appreciate the breakneck pace, but those hoping for plumbing of character may grow fatigued. (Thriller. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2017
    Gr 8 Up-When Saralinda, Antoine, Evangeline, Kenyon, and Caleb barely escape from beneath the collapsed roof of a dilapidated Rockland Academy campus building, the teens are understandably shaken. But when one of the group is killed in a second accident not long after, the other four begin to think that someone wants them dead. Reluctant friendships start to form, along with a theory, but Saralinda is sure that theory is wrong-her mother would never agree to a plot to kill her. Readers learn about the various elements that complicate the group's chances of survival, including Saralinda's protective mother, club foot, and diabetes, as well as the -monster- that is Caleb's dissociative identity disorder and the famous father who diagnosed him. The chapters are short and distinct, shifting between Saralinda's stream-of-consciousness first-person narrative and Caleb's sound but fear-driven second-person perspective to drive the plot. A few aspects of the story line, such as Saralinda's naivete and Caleb's distrust of himself, are a little heavy-handed, and both budding romances are a bit lacking in originality, but the characters are diverse, each with their own stake in the story, and focusing on the mystery of why someone wants them dead, rather than who, is an interesting twist. VERDICT A good choice for reluctant readers and fans of the author's previous work.-Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University, SC

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2017
    Grades 8-12 Five teens at a private school are invited to a Leader's Club orientation at a dilapidated campus building, and then the roof falls inliterally. Someone, maybe plural, is trying to kill them, but what does this unlikely group have in common? Except for Antoine and Evangeline, they barely know each otheralthough Saralinda does have a crush on Caleb. Those two are the alternating narrators, and from them we learn that diabetic, physically challenged Saralinda lives with a smothering mother who would like her daughter to be dependent on her. Caleb's father is a celebrity psychiatrist who has convinced his son that the boy is a bad seed, a danger to everyone around him. Although the psychology of the kidsand their parentsis a huge part of the story, it's the nonstop action that sweeps readers along. People are on the run, bodies are piling up, and murder is in the air. Up until the last moment, it's not clear who is going to make it out alive. Over the top, definitely, but also a compulsive read.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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