Backwards An unusual psychological thriller asks Is it possible to fix a tragic future by changing the past while experiencing life backwards At the moment Dan s life ends the Rider s begins Unwillingly tied t

  • Title: Backwards
  • Author: Todd Mitchell
  • ISBN: 9780763662776
  • Page: 307
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An unusual psychological thriller asks Is it possible to fix a tragic future by changing the past while experiencing life backwards At the moment Dan s life ends, the Rider s begins Unwillingly tied to Dan, the Rider finds himself moving backwards in time, each day revealing of the series of events that led to Dan s suicide As the Rider struggles to figure out wAn unusual psychological thriller asks Is it possible to fix a tragic future by changing the past while experiencing life backwards At the moment Dan s life ends, the Rider s begins Unwillingly tied to Dan, the Rider finds himself moving backwards in time, each day revealing of the series of events that led to Dan s suicide As the Rider struggles to figure out what he s meant to do, he revels in the life Dan ignores Beyond the simple pleasures of a hot shower and the sun on his face, the Rider also notices the people around Dan his little sister, always disappointed by her big brother s rejection, his overwhelmed mom, and Cat with her purple hair, artistic talent, and misfit beauty But Cat doesn t want anything to do with Dan While the days move in reverse and Halloween looms, it s up to the Rider to find out why Cat is so angry, and what he must do to make things right In his second novel for teens, Todd Mitchell turns time around as the Rider attempts to fix the future by changing the past and experiences the joys and heartbreak of living backwards.

    192 Comment

    • Vince Darcangelo says:

      ensuingchapters/2013/12/06BackwardsBy Todd MitchellDid you know there is no adjective form of the word “integrity”? Look it up. I was going to open this review with a declaration of how integritous we are here at Ensuing Chapters. Or is the word I’m looking for integrian? Integrilicious?None of the above.Nevertheless, that’s my silly way to introduce a serious (and seriously good) book with the requisite disclaimer: I have known Todd Mitchell, the author of the young adult novel, Backwar [...]

    • Pitch says:

      “Backwards” is a YA novel that begins with the suicide of Dan, a popular high school student. The author takes us on a journey through Dan’s past in order to understand why Dan decided to commit suicide in the first place and whether his “Rider” can change the course of history. A few characters play an essential role that include TR (another Rider Dan’s Rider befriends), Teagan (Dan’s younger sister), and Cat (an artistic girl who runs outside the “popular” crowd, but is the o [...]

    • Lori Johnstone says:

      What made me pick up this book was the fact that the author would be attending READCON, an amazing event put on by the High Plains Library and specifically the Farr Library in Greeley, CO.I browsed the display of books that Farr had presented in anticipation of the authors, and of course was drawn in by the compelling cover of Backwards. Additionally, my curiosity was piqued by the concept of the book. It was the Rider's fate to experience life backwards, linked to a body and a teenager named Da [...]

    • Lisa Feld says:

      Two things really delighted me about this book. The first was how the action unfolds backwards; you're constantly reinterpreting what you know about the different characters and the world. People who seem wonderful or obnoxious on one day seem totally different when you discover what happened the day before to make them act that way, and yet it all hangs together beautifully.The second thing, tied to that, is the way we slowly get to know the main character, Dan, and what drove him to suicide. A [...]

    • Laura Resau says:

      I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of this amazing book-- now one of my all-time YA faves. Backwards is that rare, multi-layered kind of book that manages to tell a thrilling, page-turning story while prompting you to think about the big who-am-I questions of existence. I love books like this, ones that change your perspective on what it means to be alive. The unique characters and their world will stay with me for a long time.

    • Dodie says:

      I first became familiar with Todd Mitchell through his YA novel, The Secret to Lying. In that title, his main character recreates himself. In Backwards, the main character is trying to figure out who he is, pulling the reader along every inch of the way, back through time. I hesitate to call Backwards a time-travel novel, since time only moves in one direction - in reverse. When a "Rider" finds himself hovering above and then inhabiting Dan, a teenager who has just committed suicide, he does not [...]

    • Tyler says:

      Man, this book. I'm really torn on how I feel about it. On the one hand, the backwards thing was cool, despite starting each day regularly (waking up in the morning to going to sleep at night, which I'll talk about later). Also, the characters were cool, and the Rider concept was intriguing. Easy to read, if a bit lacking in a few places. On the other hand, it was very anti-climatic. From the beginning of the book I knew what had happened to Cat. I also knew Dan didn't do whatever she thought he [...]

    • Dorothy Cady says:

      Who wouldn't want to go backwards through time with the hope of changing something that didn't come out quite the way you wanted it to? In Backwards, by Todd Mitchell, the Rider begins traveling back through time, one day at a time. Attached to Dan, the teenager who commits suicide in the opening scene, the Rider goes along as Dan's life unfolds backwards, while seeking the reason for its own existence. Though its topic is depressing, the book is as thrilling to read as a roller coaster is to ri [...]

    • Jen says:

      This book doesn't shy away from the anger, the mistakes, the misunderstandings, the emotional growing pains of being a teen. Nor does it trample the presence of possibility and hope. Instead of dwelling on the aftermath of suicide, it focuses on the before, the many small moments in a teen's life that can become all encompassing. Told in reverse, the reader follows events as they happen before understanding the underlying reason why. This is an intriguing, thought provoking read for parents and [...]

    • Julie Williams says:

      The book starts with Dan’s suicide which is when the Rider is first aware of his existence. The narrator or Rider has no idea what is going on but is at once disgusted with Dan’s apparent wasted life and the effect his suicide has on his sister and mother. When the Rider next wakes up Dan is alive and the Rider soon discovers that he is experiencing Dan’s life backwards. As the Rider goes through Dan’s life he slowly discovers the events leading up to Dan’s suicide. Can he gain control [...]

    • Dean Miller says:

      I attended the book launch and reading by Todd Mitchell a couple weeks ago. He read the first chapter and then one later on. Nothing but compelling stuff and hearing his own personal dealings which led to the book made reading Backwards all the better.Characters are well developed, nothing is pretentious, situations of teen life are painfully accurate. Racing through another's life as the days progress in reverse is an adventure I had never considered. Artfully done, difficult subjects are handl [...]

    • Mavry says:

      Wow -- This was an amazing book. . . Masterfully written. Mitchell finds a way to deal with suicide (and other challenges that so many teens and families face) in a refreshingly non-glamorizing and perspective-shifting way. I was gripped by the first chapter, and then found myself reading faster and faster, eager to get to the end/beginning. When I finished, I was a little stunned, and immediately started readingback through it with a new-found perspective. Eager for my friends to read it now to [...]

    • Silver_Neurotic says:

      This was an odd book. I'm not even sure if I totally understood what I had read when I was finished it. There were a lot of things that didn't quite add up, in my mind. I mostly enjoyed it, and it was a good reminder that every person has their own personal demons they are battling. A very good effort, I enjoyed the uniqueness of the setup, even though I'm not sure if the actual execution worked.

    • Kim says:

      A Better Take on Teen Struggles This story is so unique! The viewpoint of going backwards through the crucial events of Dan’s life is brilliant and more interesting than doing it through flashbacks. The overall concept reminds me of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why (and this book did it first), however this version does far less victimizing and blaming of the characters surrounding the main character. It’s a meaningful story for teens and adults and touches on some intense topics with hones [...]

    • Robyn says:

      Absorbing, well told storyDepressing subject but the story and the telling make you care. Also just a good story and a good read.

    • Tucker says:

      We are lucky to have Todd Mitchell, his talent and prose bring voice to pressing issues for teens and young people.I sent a letter to Mr. Mitchell about the affect the book had on me, and here is what I said. I hope the letter states the importance of the book. Plus, look this isn't the same old tune about teenager feeling left out, it's original, paranormal, a recalibration to a genre that's swollen in a Barnes and Noble near youere are enough moments in Mitchell's prose and story that brings i [...]

    • Peter says:

      Full disclosure: I received this book for free through First Reads program.The story follows a disembodied spirit with no memory, who witnesses the suicide of a teenager named Dan, and finds himself drawn inside only to wake up inside Dan's body and everything's fine. Soon he realizes that every day he lives through takes him one day further back in time, and through watching his host's actions, and the actions of his family, former friends, schoolmates, as well as the girl he seems obsessed wi [...]

    • Liza says:

      He wakes up to see blood dripping and blooming in a bathtub full of water. He tries to focus, to figure out what is happening, but there is only panic and people rushing to try to save him. And then black. When he wakes up the next day, it is as if nothing has happened. He gets up and goes through his routine, trying to understand this life he now has to live. This is the existence of a Rider; a soul who comes into the body of a person who is in need of help. This Rider is with Dan, and is trave [...]

    • Jonathan says:

      Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to preview this book before publication.Backwards is a curious novel. It begins with the suicide of the main character, Dan, which triggers the birth (which maybe isn't the right word) of this unnamed spirit who begins to live Dan's life day by day in reverse. He makes it his mission to prevent Dan's suicide or, failing that, stopping an unknown danger from befalling Cat, the girl that Dan's spirit-thing (the book uses the term "rider") has fallen in love w [...]

    • Barbara says:

      What a treat this book was! While exploring questions about whether it's possible to change the way things turn out even when you know what's going to happen, the book also examines some of the usual dramas of high school during which cliques form and judge others based on their appearances and small physical flaws somehow are blown out of proportion. The book begins with a shocking scene--the suicide of Dan, the book's main character, and the appearance of the Rider, someone who inhabits Dan's [...]

    • Lara says:

      Um, I kind of accidentally read this whole book in one sitting! The writing felt a little clunky at times, and I'm still a bit confused/concerned about a few things (view spoiler)[All the Rider has to do is lose himself in Dan and everything will work out? Is the Rider part of Dan's soul, or what? If everything works out with the Rider sort of reintegrated, how did stuff get so messed up in the first place? It's weird that the story seems to be all about saving Cat from being raped, but it seems [...]

    • Paula says:

      The book wasn't quite what I expected when the blurb said it was a thriller however I did enjoy the read.The book starts with Dan's suicide and his "spirit" hanging over him observing and wondering who he himself is and what he has to do with the dead boy in the bathtub. As things unfold for the spirit he lives Dan's life in reverse and all the while he is looking for the answers to who he is and how he is connected to Dan. Then he gets a fixation on Dan's girlfriend who won't have anything to d [...]

    • David Hilton says:

      So, now I've read two Todd Mitchell books. I'm detecting a theme: they are both pretty dark and depressing. That's probably a good thing according to my taste; it beats the fluffy drivel that is most YA lit. Why do I like YA lit when it is mostly so cheese?The whole telling the story backwards bit works pretty well and adds a certain odd suspense. I'd rather not read about teen rape and suicide, but I know they are real and need exposure. Brave writing, but spotty in places. I had to go back to [...]

    • Courtney Burgess says:

      This book has taken the spot as my favorite book.A boy named Dan has just committed suicide and you witness the pain and suffering from his mom and sister.You think it is all over but the next day you wake up and he is fine.How could this be? You, the Rider are living his life backwards to see why he. Omitted suicide.This book is a emotional roller coaster and you figure out one thing can change your future.You follow along with Dan as you meet Cat,Teagan,Flynn and Waster as you live a boys life [...]

    • Ben Swall-Yarrington says:

      It saddens me that books like this one are not more widely read. It works on so many levels. A brutally honest look at the affects of suicide, a suspenseful plot, a mind bending concept that rivals Inception, and heartbreakingly real characters. I assure you: you have never read anything like this. You're local bookstore might not have it, because they're too busy ordering copies of the new sensational dystopian series or romances with every mythical creature imaginable. This one is better. Trus [...]

    • Jo says:

      This was an engaging read with a great narrator. Reading this book was like slowly peeling back the layers of an onion. Each level revealed something pertinent to the story. I guessed early on what was going on, but it was still engaging to read. This book definitely made you think about suicide and how badly someone must be hurting to take their own life. I loved how Dan went from a despised character to one that you genuinely felt sorry for. I will absolutely be looking for more titles by this [...]

    • Diane says:

      What an incredibly imaginative book! As the Rider and Dan coexist while Dan's life moves backwards from his suicide toward the inevitable tragedy that he tries to stop before it occurs, readers will be on the edge of their seats. It is hard to describe this book without experiencing the reading of it because it is so unique, but as things come together successfully (and with some surprises) in the end it harbors much food for thought.

    • Susan says:

      There's a superficial happy ending, but I can't really buy into it. For one thing, Dan may have saved Cat from being raped, but Finn is still an amoral sexual predator--some other girl is going to take her place. The focus is on Dan and the unnamed narrator trying to save Cat, which pretty much strips her of agency in a story about her rape.

    • Deb Ristow says:

      I received this book as a Good Reads winner. I love the storyline with the story starting from the reader working backwards from the conclusion that gripped them right from the beginning. The story is an easy read and the author does a great job keeping the reader coming back for more. Even though it is rated YA, it definitely is a book for readers of all ages.

    • Robert says:

      This is a quite unusual book. Partly because, as the title suggests, through the main character we experience life backwards, and partly because the author provides ample opportunity to meditate on the events of the book.Spiritual, serious, yet entertaining, I think I would not want anything else in a book of this length. A great read!

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