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Review: THIRTEEN DAYS TO MIDNIGHT by Patrick Carman

Posted by on September 2, 2010
Thirteen Days to Midnight 
THIRTEEN DAYS TO MIDNIGHT
Patrick Carman
432 pages
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: April 12th, 2010
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: REALLY LIKED

You are indestructible. These are the words that transfer an astonishing power to Jacob Fielding… and it changes everything. After all, there’s something addictive about testing the limits of fear, experiencing the thrill of walking through fire, or saving your friend from a beating in front of the whole school.

Then Ophelia James, the beautiful and daring new girl in town, suggests that they use the power to do good, to save others at risk of death. But with every heroic act, the power grows into the specter of a curse. How to decide who lives and who dies? And why does darkness seem to be chasing them? Jacob only has thirteen days to figure out how to harness this terrifying power… and the answer is chilling: What if he has to kill the one he loves to save her?

In the context of a dark, unconventional superhero story, Patrick Carman has envisioned a high concept tale of intrigue, romance, friendship and adventure that probes deep into what teens face as they enter young adult years: navigating increasingly complex choices with greater consequences, as well as the gray areas blurring the definitions of right and wrong

“You are indestructible.” Those are the last words Mr. Fielding says to his adopted son, Jacob, before they crash into a tree doing sixty. Mr. Fielding dies, and miraculously, Jacob leaves the scene without a scratch. A few weeks later, Jacob returns to Holy Cross, the decaying Catholic school he attends, where his best friend Milo greets him by saying there’s a new girl in town. There are hardly ever any new enrollments at Holy Cross, just students leaving for the new South Ridge High, so this is a surprise for Jacob. An even bigger surprise is just how beautiful Ophelia James, nicknamed Oh – the new girl – is.

It all begins when she asks him to sign her cast, on which he writes “You are Indestructible – J”. Later on that day, Oh goes concrete surfing and trips, which should have killed her, but she gets up without a clue as to why there’s no blood (or pain) on her whatsoever. Pretty soon, Jacob, Milo, and Oh discover that when said, those three words can actually make a person indestructible and avoid injury and even death. Oh suggests they use this power to save innocent lives. But is that possible? Can death be vanquished? Jacob Fielding finds out in a most horrifying way.

You’ll have to read Patrick Carman’s first YA novel, Thirteen Days to Midnight to learn the truth about those three dangerous words… You are Indestructible.

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