Crush. Candy. Corpse.: What Really Happened in the Forty-First Hour?

Crush. Candy. Corpse.: What Really Happened in the Forty-First Hour? 224p. Lorimer. 2012. pap. $12.95. ISBN 978-1-4594-0062-7; Tr $19.95. ISBN 978-1-4594-0063-4. LC 20129000329.
Gr 9 Up—Sunny is on trial, accused of manslaughter. What really happened? Her story alternates between journal entries, her narrative about events the year before, and courtroom drama (set in Canada, where there are jury trials for minors). It all began when Sunny was assigned to Paradise Manor-an Alzheimer's ward-for a graduation requirement: 40 volunteer hours in the community. At first reluctant, she slowly begins to enjoy her assignment and the residents. It doesn't hurt that Cole, grandson of one of them and a genuinely nice guy, has a crush on her. Sunny already has a boyfriend: Donovan, a bad boy with a car, but Cole's attention makes her think twice. She completes her service requirement; Cole's grandmother is found dead, and Sunny was the last one to have seen her alive. The plot feels forced and artificial. The narrative centers around the hours and has subtitles like, "the Sixth Visit-twenty-eight hours left." The tension between Donovan and Cole is definitely on the light side, and readers can easily assess that Sunny isn't a murderer and predict that whatever happened is bound to be somewhat anticlimactic (as indeed it is).—Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, San Leandro, CA

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