Odd but slightly intriguing
Reader reviewed by Dede
John is a teenager who has a tough life. His dad walked out and disappeared when he was a baby and his mom is dating a man who physically abuses John when she's not around. Which is quite often because she works long hours at a factory. He doesn't have many or any friends (he calls them friends who aren't really friends), has a crush on one of the popular girls, and a wicked sense of humor. He plays the tuba (or the tuba plays him) in the band. The band teacher is a man who feels for John and suspects things aren't handy dandy in his life but John pretty much ignores the teachers concern. John gets the nerve to ask the popular girl, Gloria to the basketball game but things don't go as he planned. When John's mom has to fly to a different state to be with a dying aunt, her boyfriends assault on John escalates. This book reminded me of teenage years and issues very well but the way John acted at times and the way it was written had me picturing John as younger. It is a good book and most teens will probably like it because it resonates.