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Publisher's Summary

A provocative and heart-wrenching novel about family, loss, and loyalty from acclaimed and best-selling author Chris Crutcher. Losers Bracket is the powerful and gripping new novel by the author of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes and Whale Talk.
When it comes to family, Annie is in the losers bracket. While her foster parents are great (mostly), her birth family would not have been her first pick. And no matter how many times Annie tries to write them out of her life, she always gets sucked back into their drama. Love is like that.
But when a family argument breaks out at Annie’s swim meet and her nephew goes missing, Annie might be the only one who can get him back. With help from her friends, her foster brother, and her social service worker, Annie puts the pieces of the puzzle together, determined to find her nephew and finally get him into a safe home. 
Award-winning author Chris Crutcher’s books are strikingly authentic and unflinchingly honest. Losers Bracket is by turns gripping, heartbreaking, hopeful, and devastating, and hits the sweet spot for fans of Andrew Smith and Marieke Nijkamp.
©2018 Chris Crutcher (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By K. J. Noyes on 04-17-18

Foster daughter with a mad birth family

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A 'mad as a bucket of frogs' family, a fostered daughter struggling with loyalties, and a missing boy...

Annie has the maddest birth family I think I've ever read about, the sort you see on TV but pray doesn't really exist. Put through the system so many times, they KNOW the answers to the parenting tests, yet Annie was regularly removed into foster care. And now her nephew is in the same situation with her sister Sheila.

Now in a secure foster family, Annie is nearly through high school, she's part of some sports groups, a teenage book club at her local library and hoping for a scholarship to college. She keeps getting sucked back into her birth family's dramas though - you can see she has real unshakable feeling for them, despite past neglect - and it also causes friction in her new family (a part I wasn't as keen on or felt particularly realistic).

This was a short read, with a strong voice in Annie, who is pretty matter of fact about her unconventional history and relatives, and a rather shocking story about abduction in the second half. I found little Frankie rather annoying, but that might be the voice out on for his by the Audible narrator I listened to, his speech patterns are meant to sound stunted and immature, but here they sounded whiney and too like a baby.

The book works well on audiobook, with the first person narrator talking to us, and a plot with scenes at a book club of internalising teens, a crazy family and its never-ending spiralling problems, and Annie's coaching sessions she just wants her birth mother to turn up and watch.

Easy to listen to, I really enjoyed Annie's story, with a cast of eccentric/memorable characters and equally bizarre happenings.

Older teenagers might like this, aged 13+.

With thanks to Nudge Books for the sample Audible copy.

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