I loved Marcelo and the Real World by Stork, and Death Warriors is a close second. His male characters are just wonderful dudes. In this new book, a boy named Pancho is almost a senior in high school. His father is killed in a freak work accident and then his sister (who is older but mentally slow) mysteriously dies in a hotel room.
Pancho believes his sister was murdered. He gets sent to a home for boys - basically an orphanage. It's not bad, maybe nice actually. Regardless of what "the system" is going to do with him, he knows what he will do with himself. He is g oing to find the man who murdered his sister and kill him.
He can't just sit alone and plan this all out, though, because from the moment he arrives at the home, he is matched up with a boy named D. Q. D. Q. is a young many who just found out that he has a really rare cancer disease. The two boys hang out. Pancho wouldn't say they're friends, but after time passes, the two become close. Pancho helps D. Q. and takes him to treatments.
D. Q. is working on his Death Warrior Manifesto - his writings about "sucking the marrow" out of life and living his days to the fullest. These ideas are completely the opposite of Pancho's - who doesn't even see life any more or care what happens to him if he carries out his plan.
The book follows the relationship of the two. It's funny and honest. D. Q. is a character that gets in your heart. He just knows what people needs. We all know people who seem to "see" more than others...people who are just tuned in. D. Q. is one of those people.
The story wasn't as suspenseful for me as Marcelo, but I liked it a lot. A good read. I will continue to look forward to more by Stork.