"After Franklin commits a horrific crime and is sent to a special lab for rehabilitation, only Jeremy believes that Franklin might actually be better...but when crimes start up again in their small town, Jeremy begins to wonder if evil can ever truly be quelled"-- - (Baker & Taylor)
Tormented by nightmares after his friend is convicted for committing a horrific crime, Rem is chosen to undergo an experimental brain procedure intended to stop violent impulses before he forges a deeper bond with his friend and starts to question the veracity of the conviction. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)
After Franklin commits a horrific crime and is sent to a special lab for rehabilitation, only Jeremy believes that Franklin might actually be better...but when crimes start up again in their small town, Jeremy begins to wonder if evil can ever truly be quelled. - (Baker & Taylor)
A teenage sociopath is &;fixed&; after he gets an implant that&;s supposed to cure him in this thrilling coming of age tale from the author of Willful Machines.
A year ago, Rem Braithwaite watched his classmate Franklin Kettle commit a horrific crime.
Now, apart from the nightmares, life has gone back to normal for Rem. Franklin was caught, convicted, and put away in juvenile detention for what he did. The ordeal seems to be over.
Until Rem&;s mother selects Franklin as a test subject for an experimental brain procedure intended to &;cure&; him of his cruel and violent impulses. Suddenly Rem&;s memories of that day start coming back to the surface. His nightmares become worse than ever. Plus he has serious doubts about whether his mother&;s procedure will even work. Can evil really just be turned off?
Then, as part of Franklin&;s follow-up testing, he and Rem are brought face to face, and Rem discovers&;Franklin does seem different. Despite everything, Rem finds himself becoming friends with Franklin. Maybe even something more than friends.
But when another of their classmates turns up dead, Rem&;s world turns upside-down yet again. Franklin insists that he&;s innocent, that he&;s cured, but Rem doesn&;t know what to believe. Is someone else responsible for this new murder, or is Franklin fated to stay a monster forever? And can Rem find out the answer to this question before the killer, whoever it is, comes after him too? - (Simon and Schuster)
Floreen (Willful Machines, 2015) explores an unsettling moral question about the role of free will in determining good and evil in this gripping homage to Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. A year after bullied outsider Franklin killed a classmate, Rem still can't escape the memories. Meanwhile, Rem's scientist mother has developed a procedure to "fix" violent, sociopathic impulses via cerebral implant, and Franklin is her first test subject. Rem is stunned by how relatable and empathetic he is after the procedure, and the two connect over art, music, and shared attraction, adding another bomb to the minefield of Rem's relationships—Rem, an out gay teen, is fooling around with his closeted friend Tor, who's dating their friend Lydia. As Rem and Franklin grow closer, Rem learns disturbing news about his mother's research, and another student is murdered, causing him to question everything. Incisive, startling, and intense, this sf-thriller-tragedy hybrid has no easy answers about weighing the good and bad in all of us. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews
Rem, whose friend was murdered by classmate Franklin, struggles to understand whether now-incarcerated Franklin is responsible for more deaths. A violent video game, Rem's scientist mother's illicit rehabilitation experiments on Franklin, and sexual tension between the two boys all factor in ominously. Floreen's complex thriller titillates readers with violence even as it condemns the ways modern war, science, and society might enable it. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Scientifically induced compassion confuses a monster—and his potential target.Rem Braithwaite was part of an exclusive quintet, the Boreal Five. Rem (gay artist), Callie (outspoken liberal), Lydia (straight-laced wallflower), Tor (golden-boy athlete), and Pete (likable goofball) were together a gilded exemplar of unified high school demographic diversity (even if Indian Callie is the only nonwhite member). When reclusive, video-gaming outsider Franklin Kettle fatally shoots Pete in class, their innocuous Minnesota lives are upended. Now, a year later, Rem's scientist mother is about to implant a controversial violence-taming capsule in Franklin's brain. When Rem's mother sends him to talk with a pre- and post-surgery Franklin as part of her research, the tight-knit Midwestern inoffensiveness unravels. Flashbacks reveal the Five's parts in ostracizing Franklin, while in the present day, Rem sneaks lascivious visits with closeted Tor (who's also Lydia's boyfriend), potentially mended Franklin appeals sexually to Rem, and Rem's mother could be lying about the questionable foundation for her research. Violence unfurls again when a bootleg version of Franklin's favorite game surfaces with the Boreal Five as the targets. A troubled boy-boy romance (times two!), brewing tragedy, nods to Gothic greats (Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), and pointed commentary are here, orchestrated deftly in a successful sophomore outing for Floreen. Chords of Frankenstein and Carrie harmonize in this emboldened critique of guns, bullying, and violence. (Science fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Floreen's intense psychological horror story takes readers on a dark path through unconscionable loss, betrayal, and the changes wrought by growing up. Told from the perspective of high school senior Rem, the story examines the effect of change on the Boreal Five, a group of longtime neighborhood friends whose fifth member, Pete, was killed in a school shooting carried out by a fellow student, Franklin. While some blame a violent video game for Franklin's actions, others believe he's psychotic, and a new treatment developed by Rem's mother may cure him. The hope is that her team is on the path to eradicating evil, until another student is murdered. Floreen (Willful Machines) gives readers much to consider about the nature of violence and where the lines of personal responsibility are drawn, but some may feel overwhelmed by the number of issues the book attempts to address, including the ethics of Rem's mother's work and knotty sexual interconnections among the teens, as well as the confusing swirl of Rem's thoughts, feelings, and theories as he attempts to identify the killer. Ages 14–up. Agency: Adams Literary. (Oct.)
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School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 8 Up—Jeremy "Rem" Braithwaite is haunted by death. His older brother was killed in Afghanistan, and he is coming up on the one-year anniversary of witnessing a close friend being shot in front of him. Franklin, the killer, is now part of Rem's mother's sophisticated neurological experiment aimed at using a cranial implant to change Franklin from an unfeeling sociopath into someone with empathy. Before treatment, Franklin was a high school-aged Hannibal Lecter and his only pleasure was playing Sons of War, a video game similar to Call of Duty. After treatment, he seems to display empathy—sensing Rem's feeling and even sharing moments of intimacy—or is it just an act? Meanwhile, Rem's circle of friends grows smaller and smaller as murders escalate, mirroring the high school version of Sons of War that was uncovered online. The pace quickens as throughout, Rem's mom appears to be less than forthright about the nature of her research. Importantly, this novel breaks new ground by including gay central characters whose sexuality, however tender, is not the main plot focus. VERDICT A sci-fi thriller that combines the best of Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon with Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs and will leave readers on the edge of their seats right up to the unexpected, touching conclusion.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL. Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.