hole in my life

by Jack Gantos

Brief Summary: Hole in my life is a memoir covering Gantos’ late teens to early twenties, depicting his experiences starting in high school then arcing through dealing drugs, getting caught and his subsequent time spent in prison.

Kell’s Chatty Review: Hole in my life is a book that I’ve seen around since the day it came out. The yellow cover is so eye-catching that it’s hard to ignore – especially in the usually drab world of “Teen Real Life” books. I had never really picked it up, though. I knew it was by Jack Gantos, but other than that I had no idea what it was about.

So I was glad: it was a Printz honoree, because not only did I have a reason to read it – it also gave me the chance to be surprised by it.

This may or may not: be a common misconception, but I have it in my head that YA nonfiction will be preachy. I know, I know. It’s judging where there should not be judging. But I worked in a bookstore for two years. I saw the titles we shelved in that section. But hole in my life is not preachy. Or it wasn’t preachy to me. Did it show why dealing drugs could be bad – yes to a million degrees. But it never gave off the lecture-from-the-principal vibe I was expecting.

Really: it reads like a heist-gone-awry novel. There’s action, adventure – all kinds of interesting, quirky characters. It really was an overall good read. Also, it was brutally honest. If it was a movie, there would probably be at least a PG-13 rating on it.

What I most wanted to do after reading this book: google Jack Gantos to see what he had written.

Where this book came from: the library šŸ™‚


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