Monday, March 18, 2013

Under the Bridge (Review)

Under the BridgeBook: Under the Bridge
Author: Michael Harmon
Series: N/A
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format:  Hardcover
Pages: 259
Source: Received through ARCycling

Tate's younger brother Indy is probably the best skateboarder in Spokane. He's also really smart though he couldn't care less about school. But when Indy clashes with his father one too many times and drops out of school, it's up to Tate to win his brother back from the seedier elements of Spokane. Can Tate convince Indy to come home, finish his high school degree, and return to skating Under the bridge with their crew?

Michael Harmon's fast-paced and highly charged novel captures the enduring bond between brothers and their struggle for survival on the gritty streets of Spokane.
My Rating:
This book was extremely gritty and shows what can happen when the streets overtake someone you care about. It also shows the lengths that one teenager will go to just to rescue his brother. This is not a happy book, though it does have a happy ending. The journey throughout is dark and dreary and not full of much hope. That's the funny thing about teenagers, they try no matter what, especially when it's one of their own that's in trouble.
This is a story about love, but it's also a story about hate. What happens when one teen is pushed too far over the edge could very well be what happens to anyone. The streets claim you and when there is nobody left fighting for you there is no way out. Luckily for Indy his brother never gave up on him, no matter how angry he became and Tate would stop at nothing to save his brother and bring him home.
This is one of those books that will stay with me a long time. It's hard to forget about the struggles these characters went through, not because they're extreme or disturbing, though they certainly are, but because they're real. Any number of the events that take place in this novel can happen to anybody, and they do.
The whole skateboarding aspect adds a happier, more entertaining edge to this otherwise gritty novel. I don't skate and I don't pretend to know anything about it but the author made it like you knew everything these teenagers were doing. Besides the tricks there is no extreme skater lingo in this book and for that I was glad because it probably would have taken away from the other part of this story.
I liked Tate and Indy. They were two kids who may not have had the best lives but proved that you can fix your mistakes and still have a future no matter where you come from. Just because they come from the wrong side of town and grew up surrounded by drug dealers does not mean that their lives are set to follow that path. After all of the mistakes, Indy finds the strength to turn his life around.
I really would not reccomend this for younger audiences, the topics include drugs and violence and would be better suited for more mature Young Adult fans.

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