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Synopsis: In his own words, 15 year old Jake is a “huge pussy.” He flinches. Always. He’s too timid to make a move on Beth, the buxom girl of his dreams, and too busy getting face-slammed into lockers by bullies to do much else. He seeks the guidance of the biggest bad ass he knows, his cousin Nick.
Nick is a professional burglar and makes Jake his apprentice. They stalk suburban neighbourhoods night after night, ransacking houses for jewellery and sweet valuables. Nick teaches Jake the finer points of breaking and entering along with his dark philosophy – that there is no right or wrong in the world, just a series of events that happen without meaning.
At first, adopting Nick’s callous worldview helps Jake get over his fears and confront his tormentors, but he also unleashes an aggression in himself he never thought possible. And as he learns more about his cousin, he realizes that Nick’s crimes go way beyond burglary.
In the end, Jake must face not only the monster in his cousin but also the one in his own heart.

Me: ‘I don’t normally read this sort of book’ seems to be the start of every review I’ve read so far of this novel. I’m no exception. The diary of Jake a 15 year old boy and his relationships with his cousin and potential girlfriend. Jake is taking some advanced education psychology lessons and I like how the authors have woven those lessons into the narrative to further the story. Jakes spends a lot of time with his cousin Nick who is teaching him how to toughen up like him which mostly involves stealing from both shops and people’s homes. However in the second half he discovers Jake has a far bigger secret that changes everything.

I enjoyed the story. It had a slow start for me but soon picked up the pace. I liked the diary style of the narrative which helped keep the speed of the story going. It all changes in the last quarter of the book and part of me wishes they had kept this going rather than go with a ‘dream sequence’ happy ending. It’s not really a happy ending though as Jake does not end up with everything he wants.

It’s a well crafted story with many twists and turns. Happy to recommend