Dec 162014

Cover for The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. Photo of a white boy with messy brown hair, hazel eyes, and freckles, wearing a gray hoodie on a gray background. A word bubble encases the words "a novel", hinting at the graphic novel elements within.Booklist: Hutchinson’s latest is an unflinching look at loss, grief, and recovery. Seventeen-year-old Drew Brawley has been hiding from death for months in the Florida hospital where the rest of his family died. He passes the time working at the cafeteria and making friends with teen patients in the oncology ward. Drew has been working on a graphic novel, a disturbing story called Patient F that hints at the trauma he has been desperately trying to keep buried. The comic, interspersed throughout the text, provides a visual punctuation mark to Drew’s guilt and self-loathing. When he begins to fall for Rusty, a hate-crime victim admitted to the hospital after having been set on fire, Drew’s resolve to live his life ghosting about the hospital begins to waver. Dark and frequently grim situations are lightened by realistic dialogue and genuineness of feeling. The rapid-fire back-and-forth snark between Drew and his hospital “family” rings true, and the mystery of Drew’s past will keep readers turning the pages. This is a heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful work from a writer to watch.