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Out of Breath by Julie Myerson
In Out of Breath, 13-year-old Flynn lives in an unhappy family. Her father left when her younger sister was born and her mom can't control her older, angry brother, Sam. One day at the edge of her garden, she meets Alex, a ragged boy who appears to have no home. Alex lives in a shed with Diana, a teenager with a baby, and Mouse, a foul-mouthed six-year old arsonist. When their mother leaves to tend to their grandmother, Flynn and Sam join the group of runaways and they find a dilapidated house with a dead man inside. They bury the man and the house seems to provide for all their needs, perhaps too well. The longer they stay in the house, the more Flynn begins to lose touch with reality. Julie Myerson's novel has received mostly positive reviews with Scotland on Sunday saying, "This novel forces the reader to question whether any of the events in this novel have really occurred, or whether they are all part of Flynn's imagination. Out of Breath is a truly original read, transcending many of the usual boundaries found in fiction."