I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie
on July 25th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon
“My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn’t been laid yet. I couldn’t go into the slammer before that happened.” Hutch McQueen.
Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.
I could tell within pages that this book was pure genius and it only became more apparent the deeper I was pulled into the story. I devoured it as quickly as I could… and now it’s over! 🙁 I wish there was some way that it could be a series, just so I could have more! I have already been perusing the author’s other works, debating over which one to read next.
The best part about this book was the progression, not just of the characters, but of the writing style. It literally shifts throughout the book as Hutch grows and changes. Hutch is an easy character to root for, but only because we can see the truth of who he is from the beginning. I can easily imagine how hard it would be for anyone on the outside to get to know him, or even to give him a chance.
The secondary characters are just as amazing as Hutch, and the tenuous connections between them all in the beginning strengthen throughout the story. Nyla is probably my favorite, with her soft spoken demeanor and low self esteem. I wanted to protect and encourage her. Along with all the other misguided miscreants!
I was pleasantly surprised when this book didn’t degrade into swears, as many teens often have a tendency to fall back on that kind of language. Maybe that makes it not quite believable, since it’s not realistic to think that these kids never swear. BUT it made this book more approachable for parents, and allowed the writing style to shine.
I can’t recommend this book enough. <3
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My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.
I’ve just set out my perfect life. Day after day after day.