The Death Spiral

The Death Spiral

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About the Book

Growing up is full of risqué moments; to live is to risk it all.

Barnaby Fox finally makes it to Kentwood Landing, the school from the brochure featuring A.B.’s picture. He’s envisioned their reunion at least a dozen times and feverishly searches for her the moment he steps on campus. So, when he realizes she’s dating Devlin, of all people, his stomach wretches.

Devlin ensures Barnaby receives a “warm” welcome, taunting and tormenting him every chance he gets. Finally, when Barnaby decides he can’t watch Devlin put his tongue down A.B.’s throat one more time, he challenges him to a race in the hopes he may prove himself to A.B. and the rest of the school. But, alas, things don’t go according to plan. Annabel as she now prefers to be called, seems not to care about the race.

However, when Devlin’s antics wear Annabel’s nerves thin, she breaks up with him. It turns out the girl Barnaby knew to be his soulmate still lived beneath her hardened exterior. Although Annabel insists they remain friends at first, her love for Barnaby quickly rekindles. But life is full of growing pains, and heartbreak is one of them.

Find out where life lessons take these star-crossed lovers in this enticing sequel to Barnaby Atlas Fox.

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Barnaby is such a hopeless romantic that you can’t help but smile at all of his romantic actions. His heart is simultaneously his greatest strength and weakness. I really enjoyed diving back into Barnaby’s life and further exploring these characters and the plot. This novel is really about Barnaby’s journey to himself, maturing, connecting with his family and friends, and figuring his life out for himself. Barnaby may not be perfect, but the actions of his youth gave way to really significant personal sacrifices, so at the end we know that he’s an inherently good person with a big heart and the means to improve as many people’s lives as he can. With the opportunity to be a self-serving and entitled millionaire, he is anything but, and I’m positive that he never will be.
– Hannah Flood
I really enjoyed reading this novel. Barnaby is as endearing as ever (that's something I do remember from the first book). He's sweet and a bit clueless but always earnest and loyal. His intelligence is both his blessing and his curse: it enables him to do almost anything with his life, but it limits the number of people around him that can truly appreciate him. I always learn so much from his character regarding random facts and how he views the world. All of the characters are great and help move the story and Barnaby's development further, but they don't only function as lessons in his life. They read as real people going through real problems. Barnaby does have a hero complex, and he does help an inestimable amount of people to improve their lives (even if just by example sometimes), but they have traumas and problems that he can't always fix, giving them more layers and complexity. Etzioni’s depiction of Crystal was very sweet and kind, and I think put to paper a lot of appreciation for people with more severe autism.
– Samantha Gove
The Death Spiral is a charming and tender coming-of-age novel. Etzioni writes in a warm and fluid prose style that supplies the key characters with dimension and substance on the page. Barnaby is a relatable, intelligent, and earnest young man who faces romantic, familial, and personal conflicts and entanglements in an authentic and engaging manner. Readers will root for a happily-ever-after for Annabel and Barnaby.
– The Book Life Prize
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