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Young Junius

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  170 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
In 1987, fourteen-year-old Junius Posey sets out on the cold Cambridge (MA) streets to find his brother’s killer in a cluster of low-income housing towers—prime drug-dealing territory. After committing a murder to protect his friend, he finds himself without protection from retribution. His mother gives him fifty dollars and instructions to run, but Junius refuses to live ...more
Audiobook, Free podcast, 304 pages
Published 2010 by
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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
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
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
Dec 06, 2009 Deborah rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 02, 2011 Reacher rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 11, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 11, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
J. Keith
Apr 21, 2012 J. Keith rated it it was amazing
"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
Jan 01, 2011 Chet rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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
Brian Southworth
Jan 20, 2014 Brian Southworth rated it really liked it
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
Dec 16, 2010 Anthony rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Evan G
Apr 10, 2014 Evan G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 08, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing
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.
Cameron Mathews
Mar 07, 2011 Cameron Mathews rated it really liked it
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.
Jay Langejans
Dec 15, 2010 Jay Langejans rated it it was amazing
Seth Harwood brings Junius Posey back to life in this awesome book, if you like action you got to read this book.
Dan Pope
Aug 26, 2015 Dan Pope rated it it was amazing
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.
Phillip Desgagne
Phillip Desgagne rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2013
Scott rated it liked it
Feb 28, 2011
Rick Myers
Rick Myers rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2012
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.
Jared rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2009
Chris Bowsman
Chris Bowsman rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2009
Patrick rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2011
Jeremy Olson
Jeremy Olson rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2015
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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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