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FICTION/Knecht Rosalie
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Portland, Oregon : Tin House Books 2016.
First US edition
Item Description
Includes book club questions.
Physical Description
287 pages ; 20 cm
Main Author
Rosalie Knecht (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Part languid thriller, part coming-of-age tale, Knecht's atmospheric debut deftly follows the doubts of teenage self-discovery into larger uncertainties about personal safety, the specter of terrorism, and the role of authority. A hazy summer of babysitting, listlessness, and ambiguous flirtation with her best friend, Nelson, stretches ahead for 16-year-old Livy Markos, navigating adolescence in the enervated rust belt town of Lomoth, Pa. But sudden catastrophe ruptures her ritualized ennui: FBI agents cordon off the town, suspecting it harbors a fugitive from the republic of Georgia. Choked by heat and fear, the community disintegrates. Relationships fracture and long-buried secrets surface, while the shutdown kindles teenage restlessness into a desperate excursion that entangles Livy in dark ethical and legal consequences. Knecht's teenagers speak authentically: at once self-aggrandizing and curious, wary and naive, torn between the need to belong and the drive to differentiate. Readers will be immersed in the vision of America drawn by this bracing, uneasy account of a fading small town seized in a modern state of emergency. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

When the electricity goes out in Livy Marko's town of Lomath, PA, the residents' immediate concern is the stifling summer heat. But when the police and FBI close access roads to the town, it is clear that the residents are dealing with more than a routine power failure. A fugitive from the Republic of Georgia is on the loose, and as days pass, the residents begin to chafe against law enforcement's strict ban on travel outside of the town. Livy and her best friend, Nelson, become part of a classmate's plan to escape to retrieve medication for his mother. Livy's quiet summer is upended by a series of events that force her to deal with a variety of moral issues. These dilemmas, as well as global issues of terrorism and the reach of law enforcement, are what make this book a strong conversation-starter for YA fans. The small-town setting, while unique in its description, contains a universal collection of characters to whom readers will relate. Perhaps what will resonate most with young adults is Livy's transition to a more sophisticated, although complicated, perspective on her relationship with Nelson and her parents. In both cases, Livy is forced to see things she overlooked and reconcile these truths with her own morals and feelings. VERDICT Teens will enjoy this well-written novel as a fine piece of storytelling; it's also a wonderful option for book club discussions.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD. Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a fugitive from the Republic of Georgia takes refuge in nearby hills and no one is able to leave or enter Lomath until he is found, 16-year-old Livy Marko, as her town begins to buckle under the strain, discovers that her parents may be hiding something and that the source of danger is not always what it appears. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Sixteen-year-old Livy Markos's summer is forever changed when her town gets put on lockdown after a fugitive from the Republic of Georgia takes refuge nearby.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In the heat of a stifling summer in her sixteenth year, Livy Marko spends her days in the rust-belt town of Lomath, Pennsylvania, babysitting, hanging out with her best friend, Nelson, and waiting for a bigger life to begin. These simple routines are disrupted when the electricity is cut off and the bridges are closed by a horde of police and FBI agents. A fugitive from the Republic of Georgia, on the run from an extradition order, has taken refuge in nearby hills and no one is able to leave or enter Lomath until he is found.As the police fail to find the wanted man and hours stretch into days, the town of Lomath begins to buckle under the strain. Like Russian dolls, each hostage seems to be harboring a captive of their own. Even Livy’s parents may have something to conceal, and Livy must learn that the source of danger is not always what it appears.Rosalie Knecht’s wise and suspenseful debut evokes the classics while conjuring the contemporary paranoia of the post-terrorist age. Relief Map doesn’t loosen its grip until the consequences of this catastrophic summer, and the ways in which a quiet girl’s fate can be rerouted and forever changed, are made fully apparent.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A small town swept up in a manhunt for a fugitive from foreign soil and a teenage girl struggling to make the right choices with little information and less time.