Sunday, January 22, 2006


Lynch, Chris. 2005. INEXCUSABLE. New York: Atheneum. ISBN 0689847890 [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12]

Keir Sarafain knows he is a good guy, and good guys do not do the kind of thing that his childhood friend Gigi Boudakian is accusing him of. “Good guys don’t do bad things. Good guys understand that no means no, and so I could not have done this because I understand, and I love Gigi Boudakian.” In flashbacks, Keir begins recalling events of his senior year that led up to this moment. He remembers accidentally injuring another football player, playfully hazing members of the soccer team, recreationally drinking and doing drugs, and ceremoniously vandalizing town property. As each memory is recalled, Keir is surprised to find himself justifying his actions and his innocence…maybe “the way it looks is not the way it is.”

Unlike the majority of novels in which a rape is involved, INEXCUSABLE is told through the eyes of the accused, told through the eyes of someone who honestly believes he is not capable of such an act. Keir is so self-assured of his goodness and so confident of his innocence that at times his rationalizations almost seem believable. However, as the incidents continue to unfold, Keir’s reliability continues to unravel. Readers see the depth of Keir’s misconception of himself and how this has allowed him to hurt someone that he believed he loved. Lynch has created an unforgettable character and story that will stay on the reader’s mind long after the book is finished.

Have readers discuss what the characteristics are of a “good guy.” Have them locate and discuss the incidents in the book where Keir had to justify his actions in order to prove he was good. The book ends with his finally taking responsibility for his actions. Have readers predict what will happen to him in the future.

Other books by Chris Lynch:
WHO THE MAN. ISBN 0066239389
FREEWILL. ISBN 0060281766
ICEMAN. ISBN 0064471144

By Mary D. Buckalo

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