I had never read a young adult thriller before and I was a little apprehensive. All of my doubts were reversed after reading Acceleration. I would be excited to introduce this book into any high school classroom. I say high school because it was obvious to me while reading that this book is probably a little too advanced for a middle school classroom. It has some language and topics that I feel would not be appropriate for a younger crowd. However, I did feel that even though the book was a thriller and not really something that would happen to an adolescent, it was still very relatable. The characters were from a rundown neighborhood, but not anywhere dangerous. They had to work for extra money, which Duncan did at the subway lost and found. The characters were real and they had problems that every teenager has with their parents and friends. Duncan did not want to disappoint his mom; he would do certain things to make sure of this. His friend Vinny was very self-conscious about his hand and his body. Wayne was his other best friend that he sometimes did not like to invite certain places or to do certain things for fear of embarrassment. Many teenagers face these problems and can relate.
On the other hand, the way the main character spoke at times made me feel that he was a little older than his age. He was very intuitive about himself and others. Duncan knew that he had yet to get over not saving the drowning girl. He knew why and he knew that to make this feeling and the terrible dreams he had go away he needed to catch the writer of the diary. These types of thoughts made me feel that Duncan knew a little more about himself than most teenagers do at this point in their lives, but then again most teenagers would not go after a serial killer.
The book was a little slow until Duncan figured out who the diary belonged to. After that the book became nail biting and I could not put it down. I did not expect the diary writer to die the way he did at the end. The ending was kind of abrupt, but I don’t think it took away from the story. I think this is a book both girls and boys would be interested in reading.