This was a very strange book, but I mean that in a good way. It was very different from the usual horror stories that I have read. There are many twists in the story that I didn't see coming which added to my enjoyment, as it kept me engaged to the end. I can't say much more about it for fear of giving something away. Hopefully the synopsis is enough to interest you to read it as it did me.
Synopsis: "Loyalty Kane is a boy with a heavy secret to bear. His life has never been a happy one, but the bags beneath his eyes, and his stooped shoulders, are signs of a burden greater than unhappiness. The solace he finds in school will soon be gone, as summer rushes toward him. Loyal fears and loathes the hot summer months that most children love.
His teacher worries about him. Reverend Harring worries about him. But when Loyal's friend, Lisa--Reverend Harring's young daughter--is brutally murdered, the whole town is rocked by shock and grief. Through their own pain, Miss Collins and Reverend Harring try to reach out to Loyal. Even Lisa's surrogate older brother tries to help the boy.
The more Loyal attempts to push them away, the more determined they become to help him. None of the adults know just how dark Loyal's secrets are, or what horrors their prodding will reveal. The burden, carried for years on the hunched shoulders of a solitary ten-year-old, might be heavy enough to crush them all."
*Please note that it does touch upon the subject of child abuse and there is one particularly horrible scene. Just wanted to mention that.