Back Before Dark

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hiro raised her eyebrows. “Then why did you agree to breaking in?”
How could he explain that to her? “Because Coop is my friend.”
“And he isn’t my friend?” Hiro’s eyes flashed. “A real friend helps keep his friend from walking into trouble.”
“Sometimes.” Lunk nodded. “Or is willing to walk through the trouble with his friend, if he has to.”
Hiro looked at him like she was processing that. “But he doesn’t have to do this. Gordy is –“
“Gone?” Lunk finished the sentence.
Hiro nodded, her eyes filling with tears.
“You and I know that, but Coop doesn’t.”
She swiped at her tears like she had no intention of caving to grief. “He doesn’t want to see it. He won’t listen.”
“And who could blame him?” Lunk jammed his hands in his pockets. And checking Stein’s was all part of it.
“He’s on the edge,” Hiro said. “I’ve never seen him like this.”
“It will stop,” Lunk said lowering his voice. “When he has some answers about Gordy or accepts the fact that he’s probably dead.”
Hiro nodded like she already knew that. “But now do we keep him from getting killed in the meantime?”

Genre: Mystery/Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 14-18
Subjects: Fear, Friendship, Guilt, Love
Summary: It’s exactly what they’ve always been taught NOT to do – talk to strangers. But the why is also what they’ve always been taught to do – show kindness to those in need. Gordy approached the van to tell the driver he’d forgotten his backpack on top of his car and was going to lose it. But as he gets close, all of a sudden, Hiro, Coop and Lunk get a weird feeling and start yelling for him to come back. Gordy ignores them and they frantically try to reach him, but before they can, the driver opens the door with a taser, stuns Gordy and drags him into the van and speeds away. Now day after day goes by and no one can find Gordy. Statiscally speaking, the chances of finding a kidnapped victim decrease greatly each day. Many give up hope and a memorial service is planned. Coop can’t give up hope though. He just knows his cousin is still alive and he won’t stop searching till he finds him. But Coop’s determination is terrifying Hiro. Coop has become reckless – breaking the law, sneaking around, lying, and rushing into danger. If Gordy isn’t found soon, there will be two victims.
Notes: Sequel to Code of Silence, Back Before Dark continues the story of Cooper and his friends. In this second book in the series, Coop faces another crime, and in a way, this one is even more terrifying than the first. He isn’t the one in danger, it’s his cousin, his best friend. He feels weighted down by guilt for not recognizing the danger and stopping Gordy from approaching the van. He actually encouraged Gordy to do it. The big theme running through the story though is what it means to be a good friend. When it comes down to it, there is only one thing Coop won’t do for a friend and that’s give up on them. Hiro and Lunk debate all throughout the story what it looks like for them to be a good friend to Coop and how far Coop should go for Gordy.
The spiritual element is seen through Hiro and Lunk’s observation of her. Coop doesn’t come across very spiritual or unchristian – he merely lives the morals. Hiro is always praying and talking about praying and finding strength through prayer. Lunk believes that either God doesn’t exist or doesn’t care. But Hiro’s example challenges his beliefs, especially at the end of the book.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

John 15:12-13 – My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.


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