Davida Wills Hurwin fictionalized their lives, allowing readers to understand how one boy - Doug - can grow into a teenager addicted to violence and how another - Jason - can end up living on the street at age 13. Alternating viewpoints between the two boys, the story moves toward the assault in a sort of countdown with snapshots of their lives leading up to the event: seven years before, five years before, three years before and so on. The early part can be a bit slow but as the event draws closer, the tension builds. It is an amazing story of redemption and healing.
Readalike: Almost Home by Jessica Blank (for another novel about homeless teens in California, gay and straight). Matthew Shepard's death has an impact on Jason in Freaks and Revelations. The DVD The Laramie Project would also make a good pairing with the novel.