Chasing Tail Lights by Patrick Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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 great for Christy. Christy loves her truck driver dad but he dies very early on in the story and she is left with her brother Mitchell (she loves him), little cousin Bree (she is Robert's daughter and Christy loves her). Christy really has three brothers: Robert is in jail, Mitchell and Ryan. Robert and Ryan are her half brothers, different fathers from each other, and from Christy and Mitchell. There is no evidence of Christy's dad but her alcoholic mother's room is loaded with pictures of Ryan's dad, who didn't stick around. Christy's mom favors Ryan and as a result Ryan terrorizes Christy and Mitchell and makes everything their fault. Christy doesn't feel like anyone cares about her and it is Jones' characterization of Christy as lonely, shy, and who feels like a loser who slowly, achingly overcomes a life of neglect to take control, think of adults as counselors who will help her, and confide some of her "secrets" that really spoke to me as I read this book. I haven't even mentioned Tyrell, but you need to read this book to find out about this character who sticks by Christy and offers her a ray of hope. Reluctant readers will love this book, as well as Harris' other books. His honesty about teen life is compelling and not soon forgotten.
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