Then by chance, he meets someone who helps him to see things differently.
Despite girls, bullies, teachers, policemen, his mother and her violent boyfriend, Jon wants to survive. Once he finds Jimmy and Paul, he begins to take control of his life. He becomes an apprentice adult.
While Jon does claw his way up to a bit more stability, this novel is too honest to paint too rosy colored a picture at the end of the book. Jon doesn't find a compelling teacher that makes him decide school is great. He doesn't come into a great deal of money. He and his mother don't fall into a Leave It to Beaver pattern. That's what makes this an interesting novel. Jon is lost, but so are the adults -- those who'd like to help him and those who could care less. It's an all too-common story, no matter what side of the big pond you are on (the story is set in England).
While I didn't love all of the writer's style and I did trip up a few times on phrases that must be common in England but not here in the States, I recommend this novel for anyone who wants a realistic and gritty look at the life of a down-and-out teenager. Recommended for ages 12 and up, but more preferably 14 and up.