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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tap Out - Eric Devine

Released September 2012

Eric Devine
Running Press Kids

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Quite honestly, it's hard not to read the first sentence of Tap Out and find yourself hooked. This isn't a glossed over coming of age, it's gritty, poignant, and often very challenging emotionally. It's an amazing story that draws you into one boy's life and holds you captive.

For as long as he can remember, Tony Antioch's watched his mother move from one abusive relationship to another. She makes no effort to improve things, and Tony's fed up. He refuses to sink to her abuser's level and he's not really sure he has what it takes to battle the abusers, though his anger might certainly make him a worthy opponent when his mom's latest shows up drunk and angry yet again.

Soon, Tony ends up attending one of his friend's mixed martial arts classes and finds he's pretty good. As he hones his skills, a drug dealing biker gang also moves in to recruit as many locals as possible. Between them and his trailer park lifestyle, Tony has an awful lot on his mind and most important is that it's time to change his life.

Tap Out can be violent, but there's no way to honestly tell Tony's story without some blood and gore. The realism in this book catches your attention, and it's impossible not to root for Tony along the way. Thankfully, I didn't grow up in that kind of setting, but I know people who did and life was never easy for them. If you're looking for a book that really stands out, Eric Devine's latest delivers.

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