This was a young-adult novel that I read about in reviews and different publications. I loved the cover and the title and it was added to my TBR list. It stayed on that list for quite some time, was finally ordered via Amazon, and read during this last week.
What It Is About: Travis has not had an easy life. He grew up with a drug addict mother that left him alone often in small dingy motel rooms and when she was there; she was usually strung out. After finally disappearing for good, he goes to live with his grandparents who he adores. Unfortunately his grandmother is battling cancer and it is not looking good. His grandfather deals with the situation by "escaping" reality both mentally and physically. Travis relies on his love of basketball and his best friend Creature. They both spend most of their time on the basketball court reaching for their dream of making the high school team. Travis meets a new girl to town and begins to share little pieces of his past with her while she tries to do the same with him. After a major incident on the city basketball court, Travis' life takes another turn for the worse and he isn't sure he can handle much more. "This is the part where you laugh" becomes a major source of survival for him and the people around him.
What I Thought Of It: This story read quite differently from most young-adult novels and I enjoyed that. The story/plot was unique and the writing style was fresh, original, and character driven. Travis was a young man that had to survive some pretty "unfair" circumstances and at times he handled everything well, and at other times he handled them with anger and "payback". This wasn't always easy to read about, but was true to life and reality. Travis was a complex character and I found myself not always sure how I should think of him. To me this is a sign of a great read and great writing.
Who Should Read It: It is my hope that some of these amazing young-adult stories end up in our high schools and in the hands of those readers. These stories are necessary to read, experience, and learn from. The classics are good, but there is room for current literature that young adult readers will not be able to put down. I also know adult readers will also enjoy this story of a young man, his family, and his will to survive. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars