Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Chance Texaco” as Want to Read:
The Last Chance Texaco
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Chance Texaco

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  529 ratings  ·  60 reviews
The guy looked at me with a stare that would have frozen antifreeze.

"You the new groupie, huh?"

"Yeah," I said. "So?"

"So no one wants you here. Why don't you go back where you came from?"

I can't go back, I wanted to say. That was the thing about living in a group home. There was nowhere for me to go but forward.

Brent Hartinger's second novel, a portrait of a subculture of t
Paperback, 225 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by HarperTeen (first published February 17th 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Chance Texaco, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Chance Texaco

The Truth About Forever by Sarah DessenEragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn MoriartyThe Golem's Eye by Jonathan StroudPoison Study by Maria V. Snyder
YA Novels of 2004
74th out of 104 books — 18 voters
Looking for Alaska by John GreenThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherSpeak by Laurie Halse AndersonThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Best Real Life Young Adult Books
165th out of 227 books — 99 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 928)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sean Kennedy
Love Hartinger's work, but this started off as quite a good bit of social realism and halfway through turned into an OTT Nancy Drew adventure with an overly sappy ending that seemed at contrast with the rest of the book.
Lucy has spent her whole life in the System. Losing her parents at an early age took its toll, and an angry girl can wreack much havoc…especially upon herself. So when she winds up at Kindle Home, what the kids in the system consider the last chance before the dire move to Rabbit Island, from which most don’t return, she figures her time is short.

When she starts off at her new school by inadvertently pissing off a couple of the local rich kids, then follows it up by getting into a fist fight wit
Reread from grade 5. I thought this book was SCANDALOUS when I read it back then because they said the F word twice and kissing was involved. That's what I get for reading my sister's books LOL (I took The Last Chance Texaco from my sister's bookshelf not knowing what's it about). I was reorganizing my book shelf yesterday (i took this book upon my own bookshelf) and came across this book again and I decided to read a few pages but I ended up reading the whole book.

I honestly didn't even underst
The writing wasn't very good and the story seemed to just drag on about nothing important. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either. It was just "ok" at best. Read it since it was on my Kindle from a free download from Amazon.
Told from the perspective of Lucy Pitt, a teenager tossed around in foster care and group homes since she was 7, LAST CHANCE TEXACO attempts to convey a setting and group of teens which young adults might not know much about. And while the concept is good, the story can get a little far-fetched at times and the narration caught up in too much explanation.

Lucy has finally been placed in the group home called Kindle Home, or the last stop before high-risk foster kids are sent to Rabbit Island, a p
Caitlyn McComb
Loved the story, super easy read but very interesting. Much like Lucy I like to fight for what is right and with that I could not imagine the situation she was in when trying to find the person setting the fires. I feel the author captured very well the feelings of a young girl who has gone through so much.The reason I didn't give this story five stars is because although it was very good I found it a little bit childish. This is probably because it's a young adult book. With the length and writ ...more
Lucy has been in the foster care system for eight years, since she was seven. She's a pro at the unfair politics, bullies, and adult BS of group home living, as well as a pro at fighting and getting addicted to oxycontin. She knows very well that Kindle Home is her last chance before she's essentially incarcerated on 'Eat-Their-Young Island' (not its real name), where the incorrigible delinquents are sent, but she's pretty much accepted that that's where she'll be very soon. At first, Kindle see ...more
Medeia Sharif
Lucy is a troubled orphan now living in a group home called Kindle, which is nicknamed The Last Chance Texaco since it’s the last stop before Rabbit Island. The island is for teens who are beyond help. Kindle Home is actually pretty neat with the counselors and other caretakers, but Lucy encounters the group home bully, Joy, and classmates at school who look down on “groupies.” These antagonists place Lucy in quite a few compromising positions. When a rash of car fires happens in the area, peopl ...more
My librarian asked me to read this book to find out if it should be marked "Eighth graders only". And I say it should.

Basically it's about this girl named Lucy, who's been an orphan since she was seven when her parents died in a car crash. Well, she's fifteen now and seen more than her share of group homes. Finally she's reached it: The last stop before you're shipped off to Rabbit Island, known amoung the group-home-kids as Eat-Thier-Young Island. It's her last chance; One more screwup and she'
Nov 08, 2010 Ruhama rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Lucy has been moved to the last stop before the equivalent of jail— she’s at the Kindle Home, a group home that takes care of kids without families. The counselors and house parents here give the teens who live here one more chance to shape up before they are sent to a high security facility. Lucy’s been shuttled around from group home to group home ever since her parents died, and she’s sure this house won’t survive her as well. But then she meets Leon, one of the counselors, and finds that lif ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Nov 12, 2012 Jennifer Wardrip marked it as to-read-i-own-it
Reviewed by Mark Frye, author and reviewer for

Brent Hartinger has crafted a touching and suspenseful novel sure to capture and hold any teen reader's attention. He knows his craft well, having created an edgy novel about the foster care system with a tasteful, deft touch, ensuring it a wide readership. He has proven that tough issues and hard situations teens face can be portrayed with minimal violence and profanity.

Like his earlier novel, GEOGRAPHY CLUB, Hartinger has crafted
I really enjoyed reading the book "Last Chance Texaco". It is a short novel, but packed full of emotion and events that kept me on the edge of my seat. The character selection for this book made it come to life. Lucy, the main character, instantly drew me in. She is an orphan who has been in the system for more than half of her life. After being tossed around from home to home, she now finds herself at a group home. Another influential character in the story is Nate. He enters the book as a bull ...more
Nov 19, 2007 Christian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christian by: Ben
As I've mentioned previously, I love me some Brent Hartinger. So it surprised me when Ben pointed out that there is one that I haven't read. Egads! So I proceeded directly to the Devil's Den and ordered a copy. In hardcover. Because that's how I read my Hartinger.

The Last Chance Texaco is a novel about kids in a group home named Kindle House, nicknamed Last Chance Texaco. This is the last stop for troubled kids in The System before they get sent off to juvenile detention at Rabbit Island, a.k.a.
Author: Brent Hartinger
Title: The Last Chance Texaco
Genre: romance, mystery, coming-of-age novel
Publication Info: Harper Collins. New York. 2004.
Recommended Age: 12 and older

Plot Summary: Lucy is a 15-year-old girl who lost her family to a car accident when she was only seven years old. Ever since then, she has been passed around to foster parents and group homes. She eventually ends up at Kindle Home, a run-down mansion in an upscale neighborhood. This is her last chance at a semi-normal life.
This book started out fantastic! I was really excited to read a raw book about "The System." I loved the main character's cynical, sarcastic attitude, it was real! I could not put down the book.
I thought the characters were awesome.
Then it got to the near end of the book. It turned into a mystery and she was the detective (although the end to the mystery was awesome!) Suddenly it went to a raw book about the system to a mediocre book about teenage, sappy love. Usually I wouldn't so annoyed but
Natalie Priester
"After eight years in The System, I was sure what they were thinking. Damaged goods. That's how they saw us. And when something is beyond repair, you don't bother trying to fix it. If you can't throw it out, then you store it somewhere out of the way, in a basement or storage shed where no one ever goes. Kindle Home didn't look much like a storage shed, but that's what it was—a storage shed for broken teenagers.”

I teach in the foster care system and appreciate the many truths about the system th
I read this book mostly for the title! It was pretty good, though--it's about Lucy, a "high-risk" foster care kid who has moved from group home to group home until she ends up at Kindall House, which the kids call "Last Chance Texaco" because if you don't fit in there, you're heading for Rabbit Island, known to all in the system as "Eat-Their-Young" Island. That's for the really incorrigible kids who can't fit in anywhere else, and believe me, you DON'T want to go there! Anyway, Lucy believes sh ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this YA tale. It was a fairly quick read, as most YA novels tend to be, but was packed with a powerful punch. I could never imagine what it would be like to live in a group home. Especially in one that was specifically for wayward teens. Wayward orphaned teens. When I was a teen, my mum worked in group homes for the mentally and physically handicapped. I learned a lot through her and remember fondly the time we took all the housemates to the zoo. But that was something compl ...more
Last Chance Texaco is a quick read that drew me in from the first page and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story given this was a free amazon download. The author does a nice job telling Lucy's story and I'm a sucker for happy endings, so I enjoyed that aspect as well. The story is not without its problems though. Nate is just a bit too good to be true. He and Lucy might be very compatible, but I think it would take a little more time to develop that compatibility. Also, my Kindle copy ...more
Kathleen Brunnett
YA - gritty storyline of a gal caught in an inadequate foster care system. Survival of the fittest and learning to deal with emotions are part of her challenges.
Mar 04, 2012 Jenn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I think I got this one free on Amazon. Usually that sentence means it sucked. Not this one, though. I rather enjoyed it. It was very short and didn't take long at all to read. There wasn't a whole lot to the story, but despite that, the characters felt rather fleshed out. I liked how Lucy had all these expectations about how the counselors were going to be and most of them turned out to completely wrong. In a lot of YA and Juvenile fiction, the adults are all absurd caricatures of real people, b ...more
This book is about Lucy, a teenager that has been growing up bouncing around the foster care system because both her parents died in a car accident. Readers meet Lucy when she is entering the Kindle Home, known as The Last Chance Texaco to kids in the foster care system. If Lucy messes up again, she is off to juvenile lock-up until she is 18. While at Kindle Home, Lucy starts to learn a thing or two about herself. Lucy also learns a couple things about trust and relationships. Find out if Lucy m ...more
Well-written and gripping tale of a young girl struggling in foster care.
Hayden Casey
Ahh, what a great book.
It started off kind of slow, and it reminded me a lot of THE SUMMONING (Kelley Armstrong) at first, with the whole group home setting (but without necromancers). The further along it went, the more I began to realize how good the writing and plot structure actually was. Brent Hartinger really knows how to write a good story.
The conclusion was pretty surprising to me--finding out who was really setting the car fires and the logic behind it. Where Lucy ended up really shocke
I love this book. Can read it everyday for the rest of my life
Lucy Pitt goes to the last group home for orphans that they call "Last Chance Texaco." She wants to stay but gets in a fight at school and then the counselors find pills in her room. When cars in the neighborhood start to be put on fire, the group home might be closed. If that happens Lucy would be sent to "Eat-Their-Young Island" so she wants to find out who is setting the cars on fire. She sneaks out to try to video tape the culprit. Good book that I would recommend to 7th and 8th graders.

Jessica Mankowski
The fact that Hartinger had the experience of living in a group home made his story about Lucy's experience feel more important to me. The story has a great message about how your entire outlook on life can change when you find just one person who cares about you. I love Lucy's strength and her will to change her circumstances. The love story was a little rushed and therefore unrealistic, but it's still definitely a book I would recommend, especially to reluctant readers.
Being a foster kid is hard enough. Being a foster kid who is accused of crimes she has not committed and is in danger of being evicted from her current group home is difficult in the extreme. There are unlikely elements in regards to a romantic pairing that occurs, but overall the character development is sound and created in me a strong urge to go out and do something about the plight of all these hard to love, hard to reach teens out there.
Last Chance Texaco is a solid read that’s both sympathetic and eye-opening, and that moves along at a pace that will have readers turning the pages. I found it an interesting complement to two similarly themed books I’ve read recently: The Language of Flowers and Zelah Green.

Click here for my full review
The adventure that Lucy's life has been (ups and downs) as well as her wit are refreshing and easy to read as she tries to stay afloat after finding love in a foster home and trying to do good and stay away from an island called "Eat Their Young Island."

I can't go back, I wanted to stay. That was the thing about living in a group home. There was nowhere for me to go but forward.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Really Nice Prom Mess
  • Talk
  • Saints of Augustine
  • Masked Destiny
  • M+O 4EVR
  • A Question of Manhood
  • Hit The Road, Manny (The Manny Files #2)
  • Someone Like You
  • Drama Queers!
  • Drifting (Finding Our Way, #3)
  • The Drowning of Stephan Jones
  • Eight Seconds
  • Flesh and Blood (Loka Legends #0.5)
  • What Night Brings
  • The Sixth Form
  • The Arizona Kid
  • Breathing Underwater
  • Ragged Dick & Mark, the Match Boy

I am Brent Hartinger, and I live to write.

For the last twenty years, I have made my living writing just about everything that involves words.

My most famous book is probably my 2003 gay teen novel, Geography Club, which has been adapted into a feature film starring Scott Bakula, Marin Hinkle, Ana Gasteyer, Justin Deeley, and Nikki Blonsky. It was released in selected theaters and on VOD on November
More about Brent Hartinger...
Geography Club (Russel Middlebrook, #1) The Order of the Poison Oak (Russel Middlebrook, #2) The Elephant of Surprise (Russel Middlebrook, #4) Double Feature: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies (Russel Middlebrook, #3) Project Sweet Life

Share This Book