By Farrar Straus Giroux

Reviewed for 2010, High School

Ingenious and heart-pounding, Flash tells the tale of five characters whose lives intersect. Milton and Bruce are brothers planning a slap-dash bank robbery. Nina is a determined young girl whose independence and compassion are the only things holding her family together. Terrence, Nina's boyfriend, is slowly going blind. And Carraway is Nina's soldier brother, who returns home after an injury a changed man. When Terrence witnesses the cover-up of Milton and Bruce's botched robbery and invites Nina into the secret, everyone's paths collide. What Flash does best is explore the human element, following characters faced with difficult choices and difficult life circumstances. As contemplative as it is action-packed, Flash is perfect for the boy reluctant reader looking for something to spark his interest. A roller coaster ride of a read that will have you turning pages non-stop 'til the very end. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $12.23)