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 more 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, who can never rely on Dan for help, 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.
"[Backwards] frames the fatalistic thinking of depression in a fresh way, making this a thoughtful read and a provocative title for discussion." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Mitchell artfully weaves together a heart-racing, page-turning mystery with big questions about identity, love, and family. This is, hands down, the most imaginative and thought-provoking novel I've read all year. It easily ranks up there with my all-time favorite YA books." --Laura Resau (author of Red Glass and The Ruby Notebook)
"[A] suspenseful paranormal novel. ...at once thought-provoking and satisfying. Readers who stick with the Rider will be rewarded." --School Library Journal
"Troubled-teen tropes grow like weeds in young adult literature... [I]t can all get repetive, and predictable, and it's not often a writer in the genre finds a new take. Colorado author Todd Mitchell found one in his new book... By peeling back rather than building up the intricate, decreasingly-opaque layers of Dan's anguish, what's revealed is the complicated, wounded, beautiful core buried so desperately deep inside him. Inside all of us." —The Denver Post