It’s only a week into summer break and already seventeen-year-old Gates has . . .
a) Hustled millionaires on the golf course
b) Tried to stop his mother from having a(nother) nervous breakdown
c) Promised to lose his virginity with his girlfriend, Mel . . . which would be great if he hadn’t already lost it to his forty-year-old godmother
d) Almost killed a man
Yeah, Gates has a lot of secrets, but he’s determined to keep his heart true. When he’s not swinging golf clubs like a pro, he reads pulp fiction to old folks at the retirement home. And despite his occasional slip-ups—drinking before noon and sneaking glimpses through his sexy godmother’s open negligees—Gates only has eyes for Mel. But she knows he’s hiding something, and she’s beginning to lose her patience.
Just as Gates is about to spill his shameful secrets, he gets tangled up in a golf club scandal that jeopardizes his dreams of a normal life. He’s never been a fighter, but this time he finally pushes back at the world—which could have been a breakthrough but turns into an epic fail. Probably because Gates fights back dirty. Now his life is on the verge of ruin, and he’s got no one to turn to for help.
Or so he thinks. Because what Gates is about to discover might hit him with the most amazing shock of his life. (From Goodreads)
Gates has one crazy chaotic life. He's got a mother who hasn't been present in his life since her "breakdown", and a godmother who is all sorts of vile. His girlfriend is worried that he doesn't find her beautiful, and the majority of his income comes from ripping people off during golf games. If that doesn't intrigue you I'm not sure what will.
I'm fairly certain that in Alicia I found my most hated character of 2011. Even as I'm writing this review I'm still thinking about how horrible she is! She's a well-developed character, but due to her lack of redeeming qualities, I have a feeling that every single person who reads this book will despise her. It's pretty clear in the synopsis of the book how she takes advantage of people. In the book her background as a psychologist has given her all the ammo that she needs to manipulate others to do as she pleases. Her impact on Gates is extremely negative, and will follow him for the rest of his life. Although, in a way it's because of all the emotional turmoil caused by her that Gates is able to grow as a character. He sees the person that he is around Alicia, and makes a conscious decision to move forward.
There is a fair amount of swearing and discussions around/scenes involving sex, and since some readers tend to avoid that I did want to mention it in this review. Gleacher gave us a well-written YA story from the male perspective that was both funny and heartbreaking. He never shied away from the tough subjects, and I really appreciated the way the story unfolded because of that. The male point of view is a rarity in YA fiction, and I'm hoping to see more of it from Gleacher.
By Jimmy Gleacher
Published by Simon & Schuster
Received for Review
The publisher has been kind enough to offer two copies to give away (US only). So enter below by 7/30 at 11:59 EST to win.