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Born Scared
2018
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  Publishers Weekly Review

In this gripping yet inconsistent thriller, a young man living with a severe anxiety disorder is forced out of his comfort zone when a mix-up with his medication on Christmas Eve disrupts his carefully controlled life. Afraid of almost everything and haunted by the death of his twin sister at birth, 13-year-old Elliot usually remains, by his preference, in the safety of his room, incapable of coping with the outside world even at the best of times. But when the pharmacy sends home the wrong medication, his mother ventures out into a snowstorm to remedy the problem and never returns. Desperate to find out what happened, Elliot goes after her, only to be plunged into a nightmarish world of both terror-based hallucinations and paranoia and a real-world robbery turned hostage situation that requires Elliot to tap into his darkest impulses in order to survive. The inclusion of two Santa-disguised robbers and a bank manager on a drug-fueled bender lend this story an unexpectedly off-kilter, almost comedic tone that feels at odds with Elliot's trauma and internalized struggle. But Brooks (Five Hundred Miles) creates a compelling character in Elliot and successfully depicts a dangerous environment filtered through a profound mental illness. Ages 12-up. Agency: William Morris Agency. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Elliot has lived his first thirteen years confined to his home, incapacitated by fear. Now he's out of pills, snow is falling, and his only safe person is missing. A terrifying thriller from Carnegie Medalist Kevin Brooks. <br> <br> From the moment of his birth, Elliot's life has been governed by fear of almost everything, even of his own fear -- a beast that holds him prisoner in his room. The beast is kept at bay, though not eliminated, with a daily regimen of pills. But on Christmas Eve, a mix-up at the pharmacy threatens to unleash the beast full force, and his mother must venture out in a raging snowstorm to a store that should be only minutes away. Hours later, when she still hasn't returned, Elliot sees no choice but to push through his terror, leave the house, and hunt for her. What happens if the last of his medication wears off and the beast starts scratching at the doors of his mind? Everyone has a breaking point -- will Elliot come to his? With plot twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats, multi-award-winning author Kevin Brooks offers a high-suspense exploration of fear and what it means to truly be afraid.
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