Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Kid From Southie by John Red Shea and Michael Harmon

Aiden O Connor is confused.  He lives in South Boston, known as Southie, with his mother, who can t keep a job thanks to his drunken father s uncontrollable rage and the damage he causes at every bar she works at.  And although Aiden tries to use his skill at boxing to rake in some money, it s not quite enough to pay off the rent.  Aiden finally decides to make some easy money with his friend Tommy to help rebuild his life.  Unfortunately, this involves getting mixed up with the Irish mob.  Although Aiden is fulfilling his dream of never eating Salisbury (fake) steak again by using his influence and the money he gets from working for the Irish mob, he is still thoroughly conflicted about his job, his friends , his struggles with power and money, his family, and whether he s good enough for the girl of his dreams, Angelique.  This book is the story of a 16-year-old s journey to becoming a man through power, love, friendship, betrayal, and the decisions he makes to become the person he wants to be.
A Kid from Southie is a terrific book.  Aiden s personality is consistently loyal and honorable: a kid who tries his best to provide for the people he cares about, but torn between two lives that can t coexist.  The story is told from his perspective, which helps keep the story real and clear by telling what he was feeling and the reasons behind the decisions he makes.  The mood was kind of a dark one, mostly due to the setting in the sketchy parts of Southie, but Aiden s feelings set the tone for the most part, with his internal battles and the goals he sets for himself.  Sometimes, a little more detail on character s appearances or the description of places throughout the book would ve added a little more color and made it easier to picture in my mind.  There was also some inconsistency with ages and times, I noticed.  The language fit the setting, but it did get pretty crude, and a couple of scenes definitely encourage me to recommend it to older audiences due to some mature content.  Altogether, it was a well-written, interesting, and all-around good book.  I couldn t put it down.  I would recommend this book for anyone who can deal with some mature content and language who is looking for a fantastic read.
Crude language, sexual innuendos, violence, drugs, alcohol
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, OR United States