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Literature / Rogue

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Rogue is a 2013 young adult novel by Lyn Miller-Lachmann.

Kiara Thornton-Delgado, an eighth-grader with undiagnosed Asperger's, has never been able to keep friends, and now she's been kicked out of school for fighting back against a bully. When a boy her age, Chad Elliott, moves in across the street, she hopes he can be her first real friend. She's so desperate to make him like her that when she learns his family's secret, she agrees not to tell anyone.

Rogue contains examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: The book is set in 2006, when Congress banned the over-the-counter sale of pseudoephedrine.
  • Abusive Parents: The Elliotts force their sons to help them obtain the chemicals they need to make meth, and both their sons have to act as lookouts even after Brandon gets pneumonia from standing in the freezing rain for hours on end. They also beat Chad if he doesn't clean up the byproducts of meth production quickly enough.
  • Alpha Bitch: Kiara was kicked out of school because she tried to sit at the popular kids' table, and Melanie Prince-Parker pushed her tray to the floor. Kiara responded by smashing her tray into Melanie's face, giving her a bloody nose.
  • Band of Relatives: Kiara's parents, brothers, and uncles used to be in a folk band called Corazón del Este. It broke up when Eli and Max went to college, their parents got new jobs, and their uncles moved to Montreal.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Chad towards his five-year-old brother Brandon. When the house isn't clean, Chad always takes the blame so their parents will beat him and leave Brandon alone.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Antonio tells Kiara she looks like Anna Paquin.
  • Clandestine Chemist: The Elliotts are secretly making meth using the dangerous shake 'n' bake method in their home.
  • Cooldown Hug: Kiara gives one to Chad while he's living with her family after the destruction of his home.
  • Elective Mute: Kiara stopped speaking for six months in kindergarten. When she started again, her voice sounded funny and she had trouble pronouncing some of the words she knew.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Crybaby Kiara." At school, Kiara tried to befriend new kids before they found out about the nickname, but they always got sick of her and ditched her within a few weeks.
  • Failure Gambit: Kiara flunks her tests on purpose so she'll be able to stay at home and attend summer school instead of spending the summer with her mami in Montreal.
  • Flipping the Table: In fourth grade, Kiara got invited to her last birthday party. She lost her temper from all the other kids picking on her and flipped the table with the cake on it.
  • Handshake Refusal: Mr. Elliott reaches his hand out to Kiara, but she keeps her hands at her sides because something about his hands makes her not want to touch them.
  • Hates Being Touched: Kiara usually stiffens or flinches when people touch her.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Referenced by Brandon, who moves one of his toys from the bad guy line to the good guy line and says, "Last week he turned into a good guy."
  • Held Back in School: Chad's grades are so low, he's sure this will happen to him.
  • Homeschooled Kids: Kiara's tutor Ms. Latimer teaches her for a few hours a day. Other than that, she's free to research whatever she wants. She learns a lot more quickly by herself than she did at school.
  • House Fire: When Kiara's dad reports the Elliotts for child abuse, they see the police coming and pour the evidence from their meth lab down the drain, causing their house to explode. Chad is at Kiara's house and isn't hurt, but the rest of the family is badly burned.
  • How Dad Met Mom: Kiara's parents met at a music festival. Her dad dropped out of college after her mami got pregnant with Eli.
  • Male Band, Female Singer: Kiara's mami used to do all the singing in the band because her dad's vocal cords were damaged by chemotherapy.
  • Man on Fire: When the Elliots' meth lab explodes, Brandon runs out with the back of his shirt on fire. The shirt ends up melting into his skin.
  • Missing Mom: Kiara's mami left to get a job in another city the month before Kiara was kicked out of school.
  • Photographic Memory: Kiara has no memory for faces, but she has a photographic memory for things she reads.
  • Potty Failure: Chad pees his pants during a drunken wipeout.
  • Prone to Tears: Kiara gets upset very easily. At school she used to cry almost every day from being teased and ostracized.
  • Protagonist Title: Sort of. Kiara relates very strongly to the X-Men character Rogue, and often compares her own situation to things that happened in the comics.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Chad acts arrogant and abrasive, but in fact he's miserable.
    Dad: Chad, I know that deep inside, you're a decent kid. You're a brave kid. But right now, you're hurt. And you don't know what's going to happen to you.
  • Tantrum Throwing: When Kiara's mami tells her that she'll have to spend the summer in Montreal, meaning she won't be able to hang out with her new friends, she screams "I hate you! I never want to see you again!" and throws the flip phone across the kitchen, breaking it in two. Her father takes away her computer privileges after that.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Chad asks Kiara to give him a bike tour of the town. He's actually using her to buy Sudafed from a bunch of different pharmacies so his parents can make meth.