130p. (Orca Soundings Series). Orca. 2011. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-55469-986-5; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-55469-985-8. LC number unavailable.
Gr 7 Up—During the day, Bex keeps to himself and stays under the radar, but at night he is the rock star of urban exploration, a hobby for people who like to break into buildings, explore the forbidden interiors, and then post pictures to online forums. He has hacked into more buildings than any other urban explorer in the city. He is careful not to take anything but pictures and leaves nothing but footprints. When a new student, Kieran, shows up and asks him to be part of a dangerous, but potentially lucrative, exploration mission, Bex finds himself breaking his own rules when he agrees to participate. When it turns out that Kieran has ulterior motives, Bex has to figure out how to get them both out of the situation alive. The book is intended for reluctant readers, and they will appreciate the authentic dialogue, and fast-paced ending, but the rest of the story line lacks enough tension and suspense to get them there.—Rachael Myers-Ricker, Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY
Bex is an "urban explorer." He gets into abandoned buildings and places, takes pictures, and gets out. When new-to-school Kieran convinces Bex to push his personal limits and moral boundaries with the promise of money, adrenaline-inducing events occur. Tight, concise writing, along with a fast-moving plot, makes this a good choice for struggling and reluctant readers.
A fast-paced, suspenseful story that will appeal to reluctant readers but is sophisticated and distinctive enough to engage avid readers, too. Bex is an appealing character—a good kid with a thrill-seeking streak that ultimately gets him in big trouble. His understated, wry humor is charming from the opening lines: “I don’t recommend breaking and entering on your first date. But it’s just fine when you get to know someone.” The urban exploration aspect of the novel is well researched and makes for many captivating scenes. One, in which Bex and Kieran race to the top of an old, lofty suspension bridge, is particularly tense. Bex’s troubled relationship with his girlfriend, Asha, adds complexity and emotional depth to the plot.

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