Coy, John. Gap Life
November 22nd 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Cray has had a decent time in high school and is glad to be graduating, but he is not okay with his father's plan for him to study to be a doctor at his father's alma mater. Cray doesn't have better plan, so when he lets his folks know he is not going to college, they demand that he find employment right away. No where is hiring, but Cray runs into a girl at a coffee shop. Rayne is not the shiny, cheerleader type whom he generally dates, but she is interesting. She works at a residential home for adults with developmental disabilities, and they happen to be hiring. Cray starts his employment there, and hanging out with Rayne gives him insight into alternative plans (as well as a tentative romance-- she has an Italian boyfriend for a while), and he starts working on a trip to Spain where he can spend a gap year.
Strengths: Coy is an excellent writer, and I adore his sports books. He understands teenage boys and works in tiny details that made me laugh. Topic wise, this is excellent-- how many high school students find themselves railroaded into their parents' vicarious thrills? Even the cover is spot on.
Weaknesses: I was going to buy this, but a poll of the 8th grade boys to whom I wanted to hand this revealed that they weren't really interested in a story about a high school graduate. Drat.
What I really think: This is an essential purchase for high schools. There is so little funny, realistic fiction for that age group, and this was excellent. Appropriate for middle school (a little too much beer drinking for my taste), but probably won't buy.