My Brother’s Keeper, by N. J. Lindquist (That’s Life! Communications, revised edition, 2014 — formerly titled In Time of Trouble)
Shane Donahue is 18 years old and he hates his life. And his super-perfect twin brother, Scott. They’re identical twins, but they’ve turned into polar opposites. Scott excels at everything, while Shane… well he’s ordinary at best.
He’s been dumped from the basketball team, fired from his job, he’s failing at school, and even in the party crowd he can’t rise to the top. Oh, and his dad took his car away after the latest speeding ticket.
The characters are real, complex, and Shane will capture your heart in the opening pages even while you’ll be shaking your head at his attitude. His frustration, his sense of hopelessness to be good at anything, are feelings we know too well. He doesn’t really know who he is—just who he’s trying to project himself to be.
Favourite quote: Shane describes one of his friends, Ethan, as “kind of comfortable to be around. Like an old pair of sweat pants. He’s maybe the only person who’s never tried to change me.” [Kindle location 495]
As Shane’s world falls apart and his family life gets more turbulent, he figures he’s far enough gone that he might as well check out this God stuff Ethan’s been spouting. It’s either that or kill himself and get it over with.
Shane doesn’t expect what he hears to make so much sense, or to realize he wants God in his life. He also doesn’t expect life to then get harder! His father is more angry about God-talk than he was about Shane’s plummeting grades, and the party crowd is downright hostile about the change in him.
You don’t have to be an 18-year-old boy to appreciate My Brother’s Keeper. It’s for everyone who’s ever felt like a loser, ever felt too far gone to change, or ever felt too ordinary to be any use to God.
N.J. Lindquist is a Canadian author and speaker who has played key roles in The Word Guild and in the Hot Apple Cider anthologies. As well as writing YA fiction under her own name, she writes cozy mysteries as J.A. Menzies. For more about the author and her writing, visit her website: njlindquist.com.
[Review copy from my personal library.]