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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,683 Ratings  ·  188 Reviews
After Diego lands himself on probation for fighting, he doesn’t trust his probation officer, Mr. Vidas. But as he begins to open up, Diego realizes that he needs Mr. Vidas’s help to get his anger under control. To do that, Diego will need to face the nightmares from his past head-on and confront the memories he’s been avoiding. Will anyone even believe him if he tells the ...more
Hardcover, 239 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published May 21st 2009)
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Rating details
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Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nancy by: Thomas
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

Diego is a good kid. He studies hard, he takes care of his little brother, Eddie, and most of the time he minds his mom. Diego gets in trouble when he punches a gay classmate after he looks at him funny and winds up on probation.

Distrustful of his probation officer at first, Diego eventually opens up and reveals painful details about his past. Vidas is patient and understanding, and after a few sessions, he learns that there are very serious issues hiding under Diego’s
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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This probably won’t be a review that earns me any new friends : (

Diego has a problem controlling his anger. What began with punching walls has escalated to attacking other students and criminal charges resulting in probation. While meeting with his parole officer, Diego will be forced to confront his demons in order to le
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Bait was more of a 4.5 stars. The book revolves around a young man named Diego, who lands himself in hot water with the law when he punches a boy in the face. Diego has always had temper problems but takes it too far when he punches Fabio just because he was giving him weird looks (wow, name the gay kid Fabio? Really? Anyway...) At first Diego would do anything to get out of probation, but then he meets Mr. Vidas, his PO. Mr. Vidas turns out to be a very understanding man and Diego realizes that ...more
Jackson Beaudry
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think Bait is a very good book about a kid who has problems. His problems include cutting himself, Anger issues and not being able to tel people his feelings. He punched a kid and went to court he always nver wanted probation or juvie he realizes that Mr. Vidas his PO helps him with his problems and out of no were at court he ask for probation. He has New rules like not cutting himself, punching holes in his walls has to be home by 10:00 AM. Deigo is slowly letting all his feelings go until Mr ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's obvious early on what's happened to Diego, though he doesn't say the words until much later. It's a heart-wrencher of a story, but goes to show how much kids - everyone, really - need someone to be there for them, and help them through the hurt on the way to recovery. And it includes a romance I actually cheered for (and you know how rare that is for me). Highly recommended, though TRIGGER WARNING.
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was really blown away by this book, and I mean that in all sorts of ways.

First of all it’s a story about a young kid (16) who has been carrying around all kinds of painful feelings inside and has learned that it can be dangerous to tell anyone about. Without giving away the specifics of the plot, he experienced some really horrible abuse at home and the person who abused him committed suicide. So, first of all there’s the abuse he experienced, secondly there’s the guilt of feeling responsible
This book should be consider a self-help book for those who were molested, abused, and rape and yet it is work of fiction that speaks the stories of millions who sadly could relate to Diego. This is my second time reading a novel by Alex Sanchez and this man can speak volumes for me. I rarely ever read a book in its entirety in one setting and yet both times when I seek the comfort of Alex Sanchez's books, I find myself in the late hours of the night absorbed in his novels. His writing style is ...more
Joe Barker
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Secrets, pain, struggle, violence, abuse, fear, chaos. Life is full of all of those things, and most of the time we struggle to keep the balance for ourselves. But what happens when someone else makes a move in our lives that throws off our balance with out giving us a choice. Diego fights a dangerous battle in his own mind, and in his life. After being incited by a look across the lunch room by someone he assumed to be gay, he finds himself sitting in a court room being assigned a Probation Off ...more
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
Although I haven't read all of Sanchez's books, I've read the majority and this is very different from his others. This one was darker, more serious and completely refreshing (err, by the end).

He touches upon some very sensitive subjects in a realistic and capable way and helps his lead character get through them. The supporting cast is excellent, from his mother who ignores his situation to the parole officer who is trying to help him. While I wasn't wild about the girlfriend, she provided the
Brandon Witt
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Bait was one of the easiest, quickest reads I have had in awhile. I sat down for a moment, and before I knew it, it was over. For a story revolving around sexual abuse, it went down rather smoothly. And while I wasn't in tears or emotional distress, the story was believable, the characters endearing and real. In some ways, it felt strange to take such a tale so lightly, but it is the most appropriate way to address such issues with kids. As a teacher who works with severally abused and neglected ...more
Jeff Erno
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Diego MacMann is a hot-tempered sixteen year old from Texas. Outwardly he seems well-adjusted, in spite of a rather tragic past, yet he finds himself in a situation where his temper gets the best of him. He assaults another student at school after being called a derogatory name, and he ends up in court facing the possibility of probation or a sentence to juvenile detention.

When Diego is assigned a probation officer, Mr. Vidas, it becomes clear that Diego is harboring some rather weighty secrets.
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
He stared out the window toward the dark green waters of the bay, thinking—and wanting to forget.

This spoiler-free review was first published on The Bookshelf at the End. If you've already read Bait, read the discussion/reaction review here.

I am currently almost finished with a project about abused children in the classroom, and through a requirement to read two children/YA books concerning child abuse, I found a reason to read Bait now and I wish I had read it sooner.

This isn’t a story of a g
Bethany Miller
Aug 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Diego MacMann has trouble controlling his anger. When a gay student at his school looks at him in a way that makes Diego uncomfortable, he responds by punching him in the face. Because of this, he gets put on probation, which means that he is required to attend weekly meetings with his probation officer Mr. Vidas. Diego’s father has never been a part of his life and his stepfather committed a suicide a few years back. His mother seems to be in denial about many of the things that are going on in ...more
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Diego is in trouble with the law. After hitting a boy at school he has to stand in front of a judge and hope he doesn't end up in juvie. Diego has problems and he knows it. He has trouble handling his anger and keeping the nightmares from waking him up at night. With no one to talk to, Diego relieves his anxiety by cutting himself. He has done it so much that he is forced to wear long-sleeved shirts all the time. His scars criss-cross all over his arms and chest.

Diego understands he needs help a
Gina Richardson/Mengarelli
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 stars

A book that deals with very serious issues in a rather soft manner.

Diego punches a gay classmate for looking at him "funny." He is a decent, likable character who has very good reasons for his volatile behavior. His probation officer sees potential in Diego and helps him through the dark side.

I like stories where the main character goes through hell and back and becomes a better person for the journey. And I understand this is a young-adult story and the author had to pull in the reins
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-read
I almost forgot that it's 4:00 in the morning as I'm typing this. Anyway, yesterday I finished a book titled Bait. I loved this book even though there were some dull moments. It is a YA book that focuses on as topic that many teens face everyday.

The main character in the book, Diego is dealing with anger issues. REALLY BAD anger issues. He fights a lot and one day his fighting goes to far and he ends up on probation. This story details Diego learning how to let go of his anger and how to forgive
Menglong Youk
Heroes or main characters in fictions are usually considered to be perfectly-behaved and reasonable-problem-solver who never do insane stuff. On contrary, this kind of people do not exist in real life. This book is a story about a short-tempered teenage boy who suffered from what happened in the past. During his life in high school, he's been in fights which resulted him to be sent to court. Considering himself as he could no longer be able to control his anger, he asked the judge to put him in ...more
I thought I'd written a review for this...Guess not. :)

It's the story of Diego, angry teen, confused, secretive and facing charges. He allowed his anger to control him and decked another kid in the face for looking at him the wrong way. But what is the "wrong way" in Diego's book?

This story deals with many things and it does it so well. The message I got the strongest was definitely to not judge a book by it's cover. Not for this actual book, the cover is very nice, but for Diego who besides app
Daniel Williams
Aug 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Brandt
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is about a guy who is recovering from a trauma he suffered as a kid. It's pretty intense, so if you don't like serious books or books that talk about feelings, this is not the book for you. I really liked Bait because it takes you through a guy's journey of facing his demons and also shows what can happen if you don't. The author is a probation officer, so although it's not a true story, he draws on his experiences with people he worked with to make this seem real and genuine. I read t ...more
Aug 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Just finished this book and it's another good one from Alex Sanchez. Diego has anger issues and after an assault charge he gets probation and has to meet with his officer, Mr. Vidas, once a week. And it is with the help of Mr. Vidas that he starts to face the root cause of his anger. Good book with believable characters (though I wanted smack Diego's mother a time or two).
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, library
Sanchez really has a way of writing characters that tug at your heartstrings. I loved Diego from the first couple of chapters. I really enjoyed reading about his struggles and how he worked through them. An excellent read!
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was good at some parts it was a bit awkward but besides that it had a good story line
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Although I enjoy this author's writing style and subject matter, this was a very predictable book about a teen dealing with sexual assault. Enough said.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I give it five stars because it made me weep. Even though I wasn't sexually abused I have my own self-hate issues deeply embedded in my heart. The PO in this story is fantastic about understanding what Diego is trying to deal with and helping him open up about it. YA books often don't address 'real' issues and can be overly superficial. What the PO has to say actually helped me think about ways to counter the effects of childhood emotional pain. Why can't we all find a counselor to help us throu ...more
Daisuke Yamakawa
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Douglas Gibson
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was not at all what I expected it to be, but I enjoyed it very much anyway. This is a great book for high school boys (the most reluctant group of readers) who struggle with anger and making bad choices. It's a quick and simple read too, only took me a few sittings to complete. Sanchez beats a shark metaphor and dream sequence to death, but I'm forgiving of these techniques in YA lit, and overall I enjoy his writing style.
Jeffrey Garcia
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book was really good in so many ways because first of all, it talked about a moment that most teenagers would experience now in days.. Also it gives us a visual as to when ever we do mistakes, we can always fix it. Some things can never be changed. But mostly it can teach us all a valuable lesson.
Grace Zhao
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is in third person, but because the emotion and dialogue makes the book very personal. I would had prefer if the book is first person, because "he" "Diego" often caught me off guard. One thing i don't like, find unrealistic, is victim of sexual abuse carrying on romantic relationships without any trouble.
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Alex Sanchez is the author of the Rainbow Boys trilogy of teen novels, along with The God Box, Getting It, and the Lambda Award-winning middle-grade novel So Hard to Say. His novel, Bait, won the 2009 Florida Book Award Gold Medal for YA fiction. Alex received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and for many years worked as a youth and family counselor. His ...more
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