The Book Lucas finds himself entering into a world many teenagers find themselves encountering at some or other point. Peer pressure, drugs, a desire to prove that he is one of the top dogs really. The problem lies in Lucas’ inability to maintain control over his desire to be considered the ‘main man’, Mr Bad-ass, who somehow always seems to be able to slip out of sticky situations. That is until the day comes that he can’t. Having stepped on one too many toes, and having one too many lucky breaks (he is a lucky bastard after all), Lucas has to wake up to the reality of where his actions have lead him. But, will there ever be a day where he realises that sometimes, the world really isn’t your own, and that often, your actions leave ripples in the lives of those you love.
What I liked 1. The unapologetic rawness of the book. Cianci has managed to encapsulate the average teenagers mentality, sense of invincibility and desire to be whoever they damned well want to be, thank you very much. It is honest, and as one who has dealt with the dark world of drugs and addiction – I can agree with a lot of what Lucas observes in his experiences 2. Unique formatting. Unlike any other book I’ve read, Cianci uses a fascinating combination of formatting techniques which make it quite interesting to read. Larger fonts, bold, italics, I think there was even a completely different font used at one point. It’s a daring move and I appreciate Cianci taking such a risk. 3. It doesn’t feel like you’re reading a novel. This felt like an autobiography.
What I didn’t like 1. The unique formatting. Yes, I know it’s what I liked as well, but there is a part of me that didn’t quite understand the impact some formatting was meant to have on me. I’m slightly obsessive about visual appeal so this may have been the problem. The short paragraphs I did not find to be visually appealing though it did make it easier to find the last spot where I left off. 2. This is more for the slightly more conservative reader, there is a lot of swearing. I myself have a sailors mouth so truly appreciated being able to read dialogue that may as well have been myself talking, but this may not appeal to some.
If you are looking for the perspective of a teenager on life, this would be a good book to grab hold of. The character of Lucas manages to provide us with a realistic and frank account of the uncertainty faced when hitting puberty, entertaining the reader by being frank about the relationships formed (and lost) and just how the teenage mind works (I seem to recall feeling the same sense of invincibility). It is a fantastic opportunity for parents to engage with their kids on the social difficulties which may be encountered due to peer pressure, or the desire to be liked by all.
Cianci has a very different writing style than the majority of authors out there, I look forward to reading more of his work.