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The Hit
Cover of The Hit
The Hit
Borrow

Live the ultimate high. Pay the ultimate price. The shocking return to YA by the author of SMACK.

A new drug is on the street. Everyone's buzzing about it. Take the hit. Live the most intense week of your life. Then die. It's the ultimate high at the ultimate price. Adam thinks it over. He's poor, and doesn't see that changing. Lizzie, his girlfriend, can't make up her mind about sleeping with him, so he can't get laid. His brother Jess is missing. And Manchester is in chaos, controlled by drug dealers and besieged by a group of homegrown terrorists who call themselves the Zealots. Wouldn't one amazing week be better than this endless, penniless misery? After Adam downs one of the Death pills, he's about to find out.

Live the ultimate high. Pay the ultimate price. The shocking return to YA by the author of SMACK.

A new drug is on the street. Everyone's buzzing about it. Take the hit. Live the most intense week of your life. Then die. It's the ultimate high at the ultimate price. Adam thinks it over. He's poor, and doesn't see that changing. Lizzie, his girlfriend, can't make up her mind about sleeping with him, so he can't get laid. His brother Jess is missing. And Manchester is in chaos, controlled by drug dealers and besieged by a group of homegrown terrorists who call themselves the Zealots. Wouldn't one amazing week be better than this endless, penniless misery? After Adam downs one of the Death pills, he's about to find out.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.4
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 23, 2013
    Burgess (Smack) returns with a boundary-pushing thriller that all-too-believably builds on contemporary threads including income inequality, the Occupy movement, and a YOLO mentality. On the night he attends rocker Jimmy Earle's final concert, Adam knows that his life has changed. Earle's on-stage demise—supposedly from Death, an expensive drug that provides the consummate one-week high followed by death—has awakened a riotous fervor in depressed Manchester, England, which may mark the beginning of a larger revolution. The high of Adam's night out with his girlfriend, Lizzie, comes crashing down when Adam's older brother, Jess, is reported dead. Suddenly, taking Death means a way out. Burgess's prose is straightforward and fast-paced, and his third-person narration hopscotches from character to character while giving readers clear insight into the motives that drive them. His plot swerves are unexpected but well-maneuvered, and his characters' flaws and self-absorptions make them complex and real. Amid violent action, existential anguish, and the heightened appreciation for life that death can bring, Burgess has created a premise that readers will find hard to forget. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2013
    After 20 years of economic recession, the gaps between England's rich and poor are wider and starker than ever. Young lovers Lizzie and Adam are keenly aware of the challenges they face: She's been raised in a bubble of privilege, while he's from a family barely scraping by due to his father's disability. Against this backdrop of economic and social inequity, the hot new recreational drug is Death, which gives its users one extraordinary last week of life, followed by, well, death. Adam and Lizzie are curious, but they steer clear of Death until Adam's brother, Jess, who's been keeping their family afloat financially as a chemist, is suddenly revealed to be a member of the revolutionary political group the Zealots (akin to the hacker group Anonymous, if they resorted to self-immolation and suicide bombings). Shattered by the news of his brother's secret life and presumed death, Adam attends a disastrous party with Lizzie, steals a stash of Death and in a reckless moment of grief, takes the drug. From there, the plot--jam-packed with ill-advised escapades, secret identities, fights and chases--threatens to spiral out of control, but in spite of some Grand Guignol violence administered by grotesque villains just this side of Carl Hiaasen, Burgess' surprisingly gritty hero and heroine are able to enjoy some muted hopefulness for their pains. Refreshingly rooted in the issues of the day, Burgess' near-future thriller stands out. (Dystopian thriller. 15-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2014

    Gr 10 Up-It's the biggest concert of the year, and when it's all over, Jimmy Earle will be dead. Planning to join the "27 Club" of famous musicians who died at the age of 27, Jimmy has taken Death, a newly created euthanasia drug that binds to the brain and gives the user one last amazing week followed by an inescapable death. Friends Adam and Lizzie are excited to be at the show and more excited to be falling in love with each other, but they doubt that Jimmy will go through with it. So when their friend actually dies, the two watch stunned as the crowd and city of Manchester explodes. The death sparks the community's pent up frustrations about living with extreme economic inequality. To make matters worse, a revolutionary group, the Zealots, enflamed by the riots, begins passing out Death in the street. Surrounded by such chaos, Adam's life and relationship quickly begin to fall apart, and he must decide if he'll join the fight or give up to Death. An exciting, dark story of sex, drugs, and revolution that is sure to grip readers.-Ryan F. Paulsen, New Rochelle High School, NY

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Scholastic Inc.
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The Hit
The Hit
Melvin Burgess
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