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Young Junius

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  167 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Junius Posey pushes weed for a small-time neighborhood dealer — a low rung on the ladder of the gangster life surrounding him. But when his older brother is shot dead, Junius grips a gun for the first time and starts climbing.

Flanked by his best friend, Junius sets his sights on the Rindge Towers, a low-income high-rise looming over the cold streets of Ca
Paperback, Feb 19, 2013, 368 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Thomas & Mercer (first published January 1st 2010)
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May 31, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favorites, read_2012
"Ain't nothing but a crazy day in the towers."

The quest to avenge the untimely death of his elder brother sees 14yr old Junius grow from a young man to seasoned killer in a single day. Accompanied by Elf (16yrs), the duo’s chemistry adds a light-hearted dynamic to the heavy violence fuelled plot as they search the towers for answers and payback. One death quickly leads to another, and before long, gang warfare if rife in the close knit urban community.

The imposing towers are as much a character
Dec 19, 2010 Seth rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-edition
It's a great book. No doubt!
Booklist says "Harwood’s cutaway view of a single bloody day in a housing project is an impressive feat... Given the characters’ brutality, Harwood’s empathy runs deeply indeed."

Publishers Weekly: "Searing... a vicious black comedy of murderous errors. Harwood pulls no punches."

George Pelecanos (The Wire) picked YOUNG JUNIUS as one of his best books of 2010.

"Required reading." -- Crimespree Magazine
Aug 22, 2013 BigJohn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Three-word review: Loved. This. Book.

Young Junius is a story centered around a popular character from Harwood's Jack Wakes Up. It is set in 1980s Boston, at a time when Junius is still quite young. After the murder of his brother, which goes largely uninvestigated by the authorities, Junius takes it upon himself to find out the truth of what happened. Armed with a handgun and accompanied by his good friend Elf, Junius takes his first steps into a world for which he is only marginally prepared.

Dec 16, 2010 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Non-stop action is leavened by multi-dimensional characters in this story of a day in the life of a boy/man, 14-year-old Junius, who sets out to find the killer of his brother in the drug-and-blood-soaked halls of a Cambridge, Mass., housing project. The mystery drives the story, but it's the action that keeps you turning the pages and the depth of the characters that draws you into their gritty lives.

It would have been easy for the author to people his book with stereotypes, but he resisted te
Simon Royle
Dec 15, 2010 Simon Royle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indie
If you liked the TV series "The Wire" - you'll love this book. Seth's created a story that takes place in one gritty day in the projects in Boston.

YJ, a 14 year old, 6'3" "kid" sets out to avenge his brother's death and mayhem ensues.

The story is much deeper than the casual drugs inspired violence; throughout we're given snippets of the lives of the (many) characters quick flashes of their hopes, and dreams and watch, sadly, as these are crushed by the environment they're in. You find yourself
Dec 06, 2009 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is Seth Harwood's best work to date. With each new segment in the Jack Palms series, his writing gets stronger, more vivid, and more suspenseful.

Even though Junius is the main character, I feel like I have depth and a sense of perspective from every character in the story. His story feels real. I could see it -- although I did not want to be in those towers during that gun fight.
Dec 10, 2010 Reacher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best things about Harwood's novels is Harwood himself. If you ever get a chance to hear him read, be prepared to walk away fired up about his fiction, and about fiction in general.

And his novels are pretty darn good too, and will only get better. Harwood will be around for a long, long time.
M.A. Kropp
Nov 21, 2011 M.A. Kropp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I waffled back and forth between a three and four star rating for this story. I finally settled on four, because, despite the violence and somewhat bleak outlook of the story, I found it compelling and hard to put down.

This is another book that is a departure from my usual fantasy/science fiction fare. I'd read a few short blurbs online that sounded intriguing, and the setting was particularly attractive to me. It is set in 1987 Cambridge, MA, in the area surrounding the Alewife stop on the MBTA
Jun 20, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
On the surface, Young Junius seems like a fairly simple story - 14-year-old Junius Ponds has his brother die, and vows revenge against the drug dealer that murdered him. It's a dark, abrasive coming of age story that is almost like a YA version of Scarface.

At the same time, though, Harwood uses that story to make a larger point about the karmic circle of violence - or, rather, the downward spiral of violence, rather than a circle. Junius' brother Temple is killed, which spurs Junius to action. T
Jan 11, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s always exciting to discover a great new author. Last spring I came across a mention of a book called “Jack Wakes Up” by Seth Harwood. The book’s cover featured glowing blurbs by three of my favorite authors: Michael Connelly, Duane Swierczynski, and Megan Abbott, so I gave it a try and I was glad I did. “Jack Wakes Up” is an action packed, enormously fun, pulpy crime novel. After finishing the book I discovered that Harwood had published two sequels and another novel as free audio books on ...more
Nov 11, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it
Gritty, gripping read reminiscent of the heartbreaking fourth season of The Wire - the one that focused on Michael, Dukie, Randy, and Namond's summer working the low rises. In fact, if you tossed in a drunk McNulty, the book reads like a bonus season of that show. When you stop to catch your breath from all the white-knuckle action and suspense scenes, you'll feel a double dose of sadness. First, because Junius and his colleagues are way too young to get firmly sucked into a life without hope. S ...more
Jul 08, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Tons of action, drama, violence, and crazy crackheads too! I checked this out originally because I'm a huge Scott Sigler fan, but I'll definitely be checking out more now that I've finished it.
J. Keith
Apr 21, 2012 J. Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Young Junius" takes you into a gritty world of drugs, gangs and violence on the rough side of Boston; the world of a very young Junius Posey, before he was legendary gang leader Junius Ponds.

Seth Harwood's book brings a whole new world into stark focus. This gritty story will have you taking sides and keeping your head down, especially during one of the longest and best done gun battles in American literature.

"Young Junius" is a different kind of story and while not for the faint of heart, is o
Nov 01, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent crime/action novel about drugs, gangs, and revenge. YOUNG JUNIUS is a prequel novel to Seth Harwood's JAKE WAKES UP, which follows Junius Posey and his quest to find out who and why his brother Temple was shot and killed. It leads to one very bloody and deadly day in the life of a late 80's projects building complexes. Great and interesting story that doesn't let up and never has a dull moment. YOUNG JUNIUS is very realistic and could almost easily be based on a true events.

Crime no
Dec 16, 2010 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having listened to the first series, Jack Wakes Up (all 3 books), and followed along while he podcast Young Junius as he was writing it, I could not wait to get the book in my hands. To be able to follow Mr. Ponds around as he went through his life changing moment was scary easy. A couple of times I think I actually ducked. Seth does a great job of weaving a tale that sucks you in and seeing what's going on like you're actually there right beside the characters in the, *thick of it*, shall we sa ...more
Brian Southworth
Jan 20, 2014 Brian Southworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great story! 14 year old Junius is out to find his older brother.Set in the projects in Cambridge,Mass in the 1980's. The storytelling here is top-notch and the action is intense.Seth Harwood has crafted something special here. Dark, cold & bleak this world Junius lives in, a world where he never may get a fair chance at life.As i read this engaging story I couldn't help to stop and visualize this gritty scene, and to be thankful I wasn't living this horrible nightmare.Great book, and ...more
Evan G
Apr 10, 2014 Evan G rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, first-read
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
This was a book about the life a teenager who gets caught up in world of drugs and gangs in the pursuit of discovering who killed his brother.
I personally wasn't too big of a fan of this book. Way too much cussing for me. But wasn't too surpeised by the amount do the fact that these are drug dealers and people living in certain culture so the swearing is pervasive.
I can't say I would recommend or not recommend it.
Richard Magahiz
Mar 23, 2011 Richard Magahiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011, ebook, crime
If you judge from the first few chapters, you'll think this story of revenge and duplicity will end up with less graphic violence than it finally does. But it is the suspense that is the most punishing aspect of this novel. The characters are drawn with economic strokes and you start to discover to your dismay that you are able to identify in some way with their desperate lives.
Sep 10, 2013 Heidi rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

I'm sure it's just me, but I had a difficult time with this book. I made it about 100 pages in and just couldn't keep reading. I will try and make another attempt at finishing it after I read a few other books.
Cameron Mathews
Mar 07, 2011 Cameron Mathews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this one, more than the JWU sequels, but perhaps not as much as Jack Wakes Up itself. Still, Harwood manages to cram lots of action into a short timespan and a confined setting. If you like guns and shootemups, pick this up.
Dan Pope
Aug 26, 2015 Dan Pope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A departure for Harwood, but his genre fans should come along. This one enters Lehane territory, written in clean taut prose, hard to put down.
Jay Langejans
Dec 15, 2010 Jay Langejans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seth Harwood brings Junius Posey back to life in this awesome book, if you like action you got to read this book.
Jul 12, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally took the time to finish the audiobook. Loved it! Seth Harwood writes great crime fiction!
Kate Sherrod
Dec 27, 2010 Kate Sherrod rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My (lengthy) opinion on this book is up at
Joseph Carson
Apr 22, 2011 Joseph Carson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
bloody well done. loved this book. One of those I can't put this down books.
Jan 13, 2015 Demonkittie marked it as to-read
*This book was won from a First Reads giveaway on*
Jan 01, 2011 Chet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping contemporary crime fiction built upon richly drawn characters. Discussion of "sense of place" is a bit out of style these days, but the gritty urban scene in this novel is a perfect example of how this can add depth to the experience of an engrossing plot. Moreover, the nature of the story in Young Junius arises organically from the qualities of these characters & world they find themselves in. The action, the tension, builds, & builds, & builds, to a superbly climactic fini ...more
John Watson
John Watson rated it liked it
Apr 18, 2016
Matt English
Matt English marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
Kristine marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
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Young Junius Special Edition Hardcover 1 4 May 05, 2010 11:58AM  
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Seth Harwood received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and went on to build a large readership for his first novel, JACK WAKES UP, by serializing it as a free audiobook online. Currently audio versions of Harwood’s novels and stories have been downloaded over one million times.

He is the author of four additional novels, EVERYONE PAYS, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, THIS IS LIFE and YOUNG JUNI
More about Seth Harwood...

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