Jamie's Reviews > Punkzilla

Punkzilla by Adam Rapp
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's review
May 09, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 14-16, drugs-and-alcohol, dysfunctional, great-use-of-language, road-trip
Read in May, 2009

I've kinda found Rapp's other books to be a bit too gritty (and I like some gritty too) but this one I found just perfect. Jamie is 14 and has run away from military school and is living on the streets, basically, in Portland. As the book starts, he's coming down from some crystal meth and on his way, via Greyhound, to see his older brother before he succumbs to cancer.

I felt like I knew (or could know) these people. Mostly, I liked that the people most marginalized (other street kids, obviously mentally ill people, the transgendered, the generally troubled) were the most help to Jamie, while those that seemed straight (Alan Skymer, to a lesser extent Kent and Marty) are more damaging. I also liked that the letters show us that an assumption we might make about the Major and Mom isn't quite true.

Other books about "street kids" (those of you who know me know which books I mean) should read this one to see what it is really like. Actually don't. Just stop writing about street kids if you can't do it like this. Stop now.

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message 1: by Lee Anne (new)

Lee Anne Really? Crystal meth, runaways, brother dying of cancer, the obviously mentally ill, and transgendered? And this is one of his LESS gritty books? Pass!

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