Official Stuff –
Author – Sean Beaudoin
Pages – 448
Publisher – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series – Stand Alone
Teen rocker Ritchie Sudden is pretty sure his life has just jumped the shark. Except he hates being called a teen, his band doesn’t play rock, and “jumping the shark” is yet another dumb cliché. Part of Ritchie wants to drop everything and walk away. Especially the part that’s serving ninety days in a juvenile detention center.
Telling the story of the year leading up to his arrest, Ritchie grabs readers by the throat before (politely) inviting them along for the (max-speed) ride. A battle of the bands looms. Dad split about five minutes before Mom’s girlfriend moved in. There’s the matter of trying to score with the dangerously hot Ravenna Woods while avoiding the dangerously huge Spence Proffer–not to mention just trying to forget what his sister, Beth, said the week before she died.
My Rating – 4 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this novel through the Arcycling blog
Ritchie has a bad attitude. He kinda has a few reasons for the chip on his shoulder; his dad left, his sister was killed by a drunk driver, and his mom decided to become a lesbian. Plus he’s in juvie, serving a ninety day sentence and there are two boys who would love to get rid of him.
He tells his story from the moment him and his best friend (only friend) Elliot Hella a.k.a. El Hella, decide to form a band and enter in a battle of the bands type contest. El Hella is a bit intense, more serious about the possibility of becoming rich and famous. He pushes Ritchie hard and Ritchie doesn’t always respond well.
The story goes back and forth from his time in juvie to his life before. In his life before, he lusts after the hot girl of the school, Ravenna, and bides his time messing with the ex-frumpy girl that’s turning into a cute punk chick. He gets lectures from his mom’s girlfriend about not being such a teenage hardass because it will get him nowhere in life.
In juvie, he spends his time trying not to get his ass beat. He makes one friend B’lo, a quiet boy that gets library duty with him. He writes song lyrics, and is forced to see the therapist.
Throughout the book you can feel something building, but you don’t know why he’s in juvie until the end of the book. Once you know, you finally understand why he’s been such an A-Hole.
Most of the book, I though “man are all teenage boys this freakin’ obnoxious?!” But I get it, the angry teenager vibe because you’ve been dealt a crappy hand. A lot of us have been there, I wasn’t exactly a nice teenager either.
It’s a rough coming of age book; Ritchie learns a lot harder of a lesson than most characters in these types of books. Ritchie pissed me off a lot with his stunts but I’m old and cranky.
Overall, I liked this book more when I finished it than when I was reading it but I read it fast and it keep me interested. I recommend if you are looking for a coming of age that’s a little different than the normal YA book.