Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Cheated-- Patrick Jones
Sometimes your parents let you down. Sometimes your teachers, friends, even the police let you down. And sometimes, you even let yourself down.
At the root, this is the basic message of Cheated by Patrick Jones. This novel tells about Mick, a high school boy with only a couple of friends and parents who consistently let him down. First his dad cheats on his mom and when Mick catches him, his father makes him swear not to tell his mother. Then, in a drunken fog, Mick cheats on the only bright spot in his life: his girlfriend Nicole. When Mick and his only two friends (one who has a major violence problem, and the other who is a pathological liar with a screwed up family) commit a horrific crime while drunk, Mick has to make a difficult choice. Does he tell the truth and save himself, or does he remain loyal to the only people he feels really care about him: his friends.
Overall, I think this is a book teenage boys will enjoy. It is a little to simplistic and underdeveloped for my personal taste, but sometimes teens appreciate a straight-forward book like this. One thing that did really bother me about this book is that all the adults are portrayed extremely negatively... it is just too one sided and unrealistic. I am sure Jones was trying to write the adult characters through a teen's eyes, but it made the book flat and one dimensional for me.
I would recommend this book to teen boys who want stories about kids who commit crimes, are social outcasts, or are incarcerated. Don't laugh! I get requests for books about those topics all the time, belive it or not.