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Chasing Tail Lights

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  255 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Break free. Before he died, Christy's daddy used to say that when you feel lost, follow the tail lights of the truck in front of you, and they'll get you somewhere safe. Christy keeps chasing those tail lights, but somehow, she's always still lost in Flint, Michigan. Like most teens in Flint, she's dying to leave this dying city. But she's got a secret that she's never tol ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published July 15th 2009 by Walker Childrens (first published July 24th 2007)
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This book is by Patrick Jones who currently lives in Minnesota. He is highly respected for his work as a librarian - he even received a lifetime achievement recognition - a librarian's librarian! I have never had the opportunity to read one of his books. His reputation is as an edgy writer for teens, especially reluctant males. After meeting him last year, I wanted to put some of his books on my summer reading list.

I am so glad that I finally had the chance to read a Patrick Jones book. For thos
This book's local flavor made it interesting, since the places are recognizable. While Jones did an excellent job of expressing the pain and anxiety of his main character, many of the other characters just came across as stereotypical. There was too many types of teen drama packed into this book, which kept it from being great. There is a cool plot twist near the end, though, so keep reading....
What can I say...Patrick Jones is amazing!
Rhiannon Theis
At first when I saw this book it didn't look very interesting or appealing to me, but once I started reading it, I thought it was okay. One thing I didn't really like about the book is that it didn't really give a background or introduction to the story. I think I would've like the book better if it gave an introduction. I thought this book had some sad parts in It, but it also kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the book. Some things she witnessed made me sick. Overall it was a pretty goo ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Christy is a senior in high school and can't wait to get out of Flint, Michigan. She probably never will leave, but hearing her father always talk about “chasing tail lights” until they take you where you want to be, gives her the hope she needs to get through the mess that is her life.

In fifth grade, Christy's father died and life has never been the same. Her mother works hard and drinks hard, but doesn't have a kind word for Chris
Patrick Jones has such a way with his characters in this book! Christy is now sixteen but she alternates the chapters with dates in her life. Christy has many issues and low self-esteem. She lives in Flint, Michigan in a rundown school, poverty stricken town, and a shattered household. Christy is best friends with Anne but Anne knows nothing of her life, because Christy is afraid if she knew, she wouldn't be her friend. Christy doesn't want any attention so being friends with out loud Anne is gr ...more
I thought the book was good. I read three of his books now and it's like he's talking about the same kid about what's going on at home and how their lives are miserable and other stuff. I makes me wonder if he had a rough child hood because of the three books I've read. But also the books I read were somewhat like the same but in different ways. For example all the books had something to do with having all the characters putting their heads down or being quiet and not really talking to people in ...more
This book takes place in my hometown of Flint, Michigan and the descriptions of the city took me right back to high school. It's so strange to read a book where the characters are going to all of the (obscure to most people) places that you spent your adolescence in... it actually made me kind of choked up to read it.

The story falls squarely in the "teen problem novel" genre, with themes of poverty, sexual abuse, drug culture, and crime. The refreshing thing about this take on these familiar the
Oct 14, 2007 elissa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA fiction fans
Extremely intense. It took me a couple of weeks to read it all, not because I didn't like it, but because I could only take a little bit at a time. I was annoyed that the CIP data spoiled it slightly, because there was a slow reveal of what had actually been happening to the main character, and I already knew the whole time. DON'T READ THE CIP DATA, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ A SPOILER!! Definitely has a memorable ending. I've liked all of Jones' books a lot, and his writing just keeps getting be ...more
This is possibly my favorite book. I have no idea why but whenever I read it its like i'm reading it for the first time. Although I already know whats going to happen it never fails to satisfy me. I believe there is a part of this book for everyone to relate to some more than others but on top of that it also gives you hope. I love the ending of this book every time i finish it i always feel a sense of relief and pride. It is definitely a great book with an amazing story. I recomend you go pick ...more
Meh. I did not make it all the way through, only to p.105. The story was okay, but moved at such a slow pace. I kept getting the impression that I was reading a book wrote 15-20 years ago because it was not very modern and very similar to older books I have read. Not that I don't enjoy older books, this one was just too slow and boring. Maybe if someone I know reads it and says it gets better, I will try again, but for now I'm quitting. Maybe I'll try another book by the author though, to give h ...more
Oh man what a sad book. But a good book. Sad but in the end you feel that things are coming together. See, you're put in Christy's world, which isn't a very happy place, at the end of her high school years, and you follow her through to getting out of all the messes she's in. Which aren't her *fault*. The sad part is that I'm sure this all has happened to someone, and it's not their fault.

Anyway, YAlit is turning into my go-to genre when I need a pick-me-up and this was a good good good find in
loved it. its my favorite book by him.
I really liked this book, and I'm not much of a "book worm", so if I could read it, you could read it! Its about a girl, she's 14 and she meets this guy and they run away because they think they have it hard at home. They end up getting addicted to heroin, and they live in the dumps in the city with a bunch of addicts. It's a really good story, I'd recommend people to read it.
Stephanie A.
I had minimal hope going in, but its aimless beginning got more and more aggravating and the quality and interest factor went down, down, down as it worked toward a point until this book and I were in an outright grudge match to finish. I won, but next time I meet a book that references Speak, I'm just going to quit where I am.
I grew up a few towns north of Flint so I was very interested in reading this book and I'm so glad I did. Patrick Jones hit the Flint mentality right on the nose. There's the need to get out of the town and the inability and means to do so, which he captured perfectly. I especially loved the ending.
One of the best endings I have EVER read. It really is a moving story and the only reason why I knocked off stars was just personal perfernce. The book was very nitty gritty and it's hard for me to stomach that kind of writing style though I did see why it was in a book like this.
As a teacher of high school students, I am always interested in new books for this age group. This book dealt with a very hard topic in a stright forward way. I enjoyed the candor with which the author wrote. However, I was a bit disappointed in the ending.
What can I say... Patrick Jones is a damn good writer. He's got the voice of today's youth in his head and he writes with a gripping, gritty, honest voice that captures the reader so intensely. And this is only the first book of his that I've read...
May 28, 2013 Robin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like good realistic fiction
Recommended to Robin by: at a Patrick Jones seminar
Wow. Patrick Jones really has the voice of today's teens in his head as he writes. I knew part of what this book is about but it didn't make it any less gripping. I won't reveal what the twist of this book is but it is one that you won't quickly forget.
You have to love a tale of a drug pusher teen from Flint, MI. Well you don't have to but you can if you want. This was book for the school's book club and was an interesting read. I am looking forward to what the kids will say when we have our next meeting.
I think Patrick Jones might be an example of a writer whose writing I don't really connect with. There's a lot that happens, there are some run-of-the-mill characters. But I know when I was 13/14, I probably would have loved this.
There's a lot of violence and sexual situations which make it appropriate for a more mature audience. It ends with a note of retribution that sounds like a scene from a Rambo movie. Not for those looking for "clean" books.
Things are dire in Flint, Michigan, and not just because of the economy. Christy wants to get out, but she has a secret that is keeping her stuck in her dead-end life. She needs to get her courage up and ask for help...
I thought this book was good for teenage girls. The main character chirsti is a teenager with a lot of problems, more than what most people have, so i think this kind of showed me life could be worse.
Here is a book for YAs that has it all; drugs, prison, incest, rape, alcholism, disfunctional families, gay issues with a wow ending. Did she do the right thing? A good quick read.
Molly Spencer
I just started this, and the writing is smart! Jones has a great way of providing clues about the characters that make you think
I liked the ending to this book, but it was a little slow. The events were good too, but again they weren't written well.
I thought Jones has a suprisingly good sense of place in the novel. His Flint felt very really to me.
Daniel Osborn
For a more detailed review please check my blog at
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Patrick Jones is the author of five realistic teen novels, most recently Stolen Car((Walker / Bloomsbury, 2008). His first young adult novel Things Change (Walker & Company, 2004) was named by the Young Adult Library Services Association as a best book for reluctant readers, and was runner-up in the Teen Buckeye Book Award selected by Ohio teens. His second novel Nailed was published by Walker ...more
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