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It’s not Oscar’s fault he’s misunderstood. Ever since his mother died, he’s been disrespected and bullied by his self-absorbed older brother, so he withdraws from his fractured family, seeking refuge in his art.


Vance wishes his younger brother would just loosen up and be cool. It was hard enough to deal with their mother’s death without Oscar getting all emotional. At least when Vance pushes himself in lacrosse and parties, he feels alive.


But when their father’s alcoholism sends him into liver failure, the two brothers must come face-to-face with their demons-and each other- if they are going to survive a very uncertain future.





“A heart-wrenching portrait of a dysfunctional family and its destructive force.”

Publishers Weekly, STARRED review


“Walton creates flawed, realistic characters that invite readers to root for them even as they screw up their own lives and the lives of those around them. The back-and-forth structure told in alternating voices is accomplished and offers a deep look at the complex relationship between two brothers. A sweet look at an end-of-life moment that offers surprise even as the inevitable unfolds.”


“There are plenty of teen novels in which parents die; however, this is a cut above as its main characters must struggle through loss twice and navigate decisions normally consigned to adults.”


"Told in alternating perspectives and time lines, this book is difficult to put down because of the captivating development of the characters and their relationships with each other. Ultimatum will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in complex family relationships."
—VOYA magazine

"This is a tale about reconciliation, loss, and learning to understand life through the eyes of another.”

—School Library Connection


"ULTIMATUM is a powerful, big-hearted read...the story of Oscar and Vance will make you want to grab your siblings, or anyone you count as family, in one very long bear-hug."

—Anthony Breznican, author of BRUTAL YOUTH and senior writer at Entertainment Weekly


“Wow, wow, wow. I am blown away by Ultimatum! I found this a powerful book—every minute of it was so painfully real. K.M. speaks her characters’ deep emotional truths.”

James Howe, bestselling author of THE MISFITS



Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (March 7, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1492635073
ISBN-13: 978-1492635079



ultimatum was chosen by ezvid wiki to be included in their Heart-Wrenching YA Books About Dealing With Loss list!

ULTIMATUM was included in Bank Street College of Education’s 2018 edition of

The Best Children’s Books of the Year!

Barnes & Noble included ULTIMATUM in their “10 of Our Most Anticipated Indie YAs of 2017” list.

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