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Gap Life

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Cray got into the same college his father attended and is expected to go. And to go pre-med. And to get started right away. His parents are paying the tuition. It should be an easy decision.
But it's not.
All Cray knows is that what's expected of him doesn't feel right. The pressure to make a decision—from his family, his friends—is huge. Until he meets Rayne, a girl who is
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
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Average rating 3.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction, realistic
Love John Coy and his books. I'm afraid my favorite will always be Box Out. I love his sports stories so this one wasn't one of my favorites, though it has a solid story line and great characters. ...more
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much because it is relatable. I enjoy how the author wrote it and used descriptive words, but it was also very understandable. I know that many people that are getting ready for the next step of their life can relate to Cray because he doesn't know what he wants to do, but he knows he doesn't want to become a doctor like his dad wants him to. It isn't his dad's life, it's his. I can also say that it is relatable that his parents want to map out his whole life because man ...more
Ms. Yingling
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Cray has had a decent time in high school and is glad to be graduating, but he is not okay with his father's plan for him to study to be a doctor at his father's alma mater. Cray doesn't have better plan, so when he lets his folks know he is not going to college, they demand that he find employment right away. No where is hiring, but Cray runs into a girl at a coffee shop. Rayne is not the shiny, cheerleader type whom he generally dates, but she is interest
Maggie Stough
Feb 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
The more I read, the more I liked Cray as a character and as a young man. There is a honesty to his character, sometimes subtle. His story had me wishing him well and imagining what his future might bring.
madalyn ( polaroid books )
I finished this book yesterday night even though I actually really loved this book. It was short, just above two hundred pages short, fast, and extremely heartfelt in my opinion.

"Gap Life" is about a teen boy named Cray and he has just graduated high school. The only twist is that his parents have no idea that he is not going to college. Cray doesn't want to go to college because his father is making him do something that he doesn't want to do. He doesn't want to be a doctor just like his father
Cray just graduated high school and is expected to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who are doctors. He's not sure that this is the life he wants to lead, especially when blood makes him queasy. He tells his parents how he feels and his controlling father insists he get a job and start paying rent. While job hunting, he meets a fellow new graduate, Rayne, who marches to her own drum. She is taking a gap year to travel. Rayne opens Cray up to a new way of viewing his life an ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy. Interesting premise, but I wish the book had spent more time with Cray and the group home and his relationships with the residents. I can't believe a 17-year-old right out of high school would be hired for such a job; and how old was Rayne when she was hired? Many of my students devoured Coy's books, but this one would not be as interesting to my students who like the ones about sports. Cray certainly did not seem mature enough to fit the final resolutio ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Super quick one day read that tells the story of a high school senior post graduation as he's deciding between following in the prescribed footsteps of his parents who are both in the medical profession or following his own heart. Along the way there is love and heartbreak as he is aided by a loose-cannon female character that he can't help but be drawn to. Similar character interactions as in Emma Straub's "Modern Lovers," without as much overlapping plot line. Recommended for an easy read. ...more
Sanjana Rajagopal
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I expected more from this book, because the premise was so interesting. It's also rare to see stories about (forced) gap years. But it was pretty disappointing honestly. The characters fell flat for me, and overall, I just felt this story needed something more. Cray didn't grow all that much, and honestly, his randomly choosing to go to Barcelona is not evidence of any real progress...meanwhile Rayne was a token manic pixie dream girl type. Eh. Quick read, at least. ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
It seems that Cray grows up more in two months than he does in 17 years. Maybe that is the point. This is a short book so if you think that Cray is a bit whiny and douchey (I did), stick with it. It gets better.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fdr
A much-needed addition to the YA collection: teen boy + anxiety and uncertainty about future plans + summer crush. This is a quick read with a straightforward story line. I'll definitely find readers for this book! ...more
I didn't love any of these characters nor did I feel satisfied about the ending. ...more
Alison (Lady Coffin) S
Great look at the transition from High School to Adult, and the different paths that might be different for each of us.
Matt Langer
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty good book about what possibilities are after high school.
Lizzie Mertz
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My new favorite book
Lindsey Austin
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Great book, but I wish it were longer. That way Coy could develop the plot better. It seemed a bit rushed.
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
a heartening message
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good book for high school boys, a niche I'm finding is lacking in fiction. Definitely a must! ...more
Rebecca Davis
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
GAP LIFE by John Coy is a delight. I read it early in January, and Cray, the protagonist has stuck with me. I find myself wondering how he's doing on the adventure he undertook at the end of the book. To me, that's the sign of a terrific character: he becomes so real that he takes on a life of his own and we wonder what he's doing long after closing the final pages of the book.

Cray is all set, at high school graduation, to follow in his domineering father's footsteps. His secret terror: that he
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Cray is on a straight path to becoming a doctor. Problem is, his dad set the path and Cray is sure he doesn't want to follow it. Right after HS graduation he decides to tell his family that he's not going to college. His parents are horrified and his dad tells him he needs to get a job. With help from his new friend Rayne, Cray gets a job at a home for adults with disabilities. The job plus his relationship with Rayne help Cray decide what he needs to do during his "gap year."

I did not like any
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-cchs
I wish more focus had been spent on Cray's time working in a home for adults with developmental disabilities. That was the most interesting part of the book for me. I would have liked seeing him develop more as a person from the experience. I didn't find Rayne's character convincing, she's more of a caricature, and the Italian boyfriend story seemed unbelievable and unnecessary to the plot. It does speak to a boy who is fighting the mold his parents expect him to fill. ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Cray’s father expects him to go to the college he went to, become a doctor just like him, and carry on the tradition of having doctors in the family. Cray has just graduated high school and is miserable. He doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, but knows he definitely does NOT want to be a doctor. Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.... ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I had such high hopes for this had such an interesting premise, after all. And there were some things I really liked. I liked some of the secondary characters even more than Cray and Rayne, as I just felt like both of them were sort of unbelievable. I didn't buy that Cray would turn into this person all-of-a-sudden and I don't get a true vibe from much of anything about Rayne. She is too flaky to engender the kind of trust he gives her and she is too intentionally weird. It just comes ...more
Seventeen-year-old Crayton Franklin's parents have always known what's good for him and have carefully mapped out his future in pre-med and then med school. But as high school comes to an end, Cray realizes that he simply can't go through with their plans, even though he'd be financially secure. After all, these are their dreams, and not his. Even while he struggles with what he wants to do, he meets Rayne, a girl who seems unconcerned about the expectations of others, and finds himself increasi ...more
Kathy Martin
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cray has just graduated from high school, has been accepted to the college where his father and grandfather went, and is all set for a career as a doctor like his grandfather, father, uncle and cousins. But there is a problem. Cray doesn't want to go to that college or become a doctor. He gets queasy at the sight of blood!

One problem is that he doesn't know what he wants to do instead. When his father says he needs to find a job and start paying rent if he won't be taking their tuition-free ride
Stacey Conrad
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Cray doesn't want to follow the path his father has chosen for him. Dad wants Cray to be a doctor, like him, and has all the pieces in place to make that happen. The announcement of a gap year, by Cray, does not go over well. Cray has even ignored a deadline to get into the college of his father's choice. So dad decides Cray must find a job, not an easy feat in early summer, pay rent at home, oh and...goodbye graduation car. He manages to get a job in a group home as a substitute overnight assis ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
After high school graduation, Cray decides he isn't going to follow in his father's footsteps. He's not going to the same university, not studying premed and he's definitely not going to become a surgeon! He's not sure what he wants to do with his life, but he wants time to figure it out on his own. Meeting free-spirited Raine helps Cray begin to seek the answers to the question of his future. He begins working at a home for developmentally disabled adults and begins learning how to be an adult ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. This was a really quick read. It really only covered a couple months of Cray's summer after graduation. He learned a few lessons over the summer but it didn't seem like there was enough real conflict for him to learn and grow. There was of course towards the end but it didn't really seem that he had learned from that or taken from it as much as I felt he should. I also would have liked to have learned something about the followi ...more
Rachel Kass
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
This book showed a high school senior who decides to go against his father's wishes to become a doctor and decides to take a gap year. He works the summer, meets a girl who helps him become more independent, and stands up to his intimidating father. In a time when the pressure to go to college and follow a prescribed path seems to be at a breaking point, this was a refreshing read about working hard to achieve your own goals.

Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of the book in exchange
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John Coy is the author of young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and fiction and nonfiction picture books. John has received numerous awards for his work including a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award for best first picture book, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, Notable Book for a Global Society, and the Burr/Warzalla Award for Distinguished Achieveme ...more

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