We see not just his confusions and dismays, but his grit, his honesty, and his vulnerability. Author Arch Montgomery never shies away from important issues, adds The Harvard Crimson, and never takes the easy way out in dealing with them. We like him, and root for him, and care about him.
No wonder The Harvard Crimson concludes: Part of Hank's journey of growth entails understanding and dealing with that realization. Through a raw, real, and rewarding storyline, recounted with an understated elegance, and dialogue that is witty and captivating, we watch as he manages to evolve into a courageous, undaunted human being. Few novels have succeeded in capturing the essence of adolescence, but the likes of Tom Sawyer and Holden Caulfield are about to welcome the newest member to their ranks a year-old boy named Hank Author Arch Montgomery never shies away from important issues, adds The Harvard Crimson, and never takes the easy way out in dealing with them. From him, we hear the events of his life. There is no political correctness. With a few deft strokes, he manages to compress every in-between shade of gray into the dialogue and actions of his characters. We see not just his confusions and dismays, but his grit, his honesty, and his vulnerability. We walk with him into an epic, appalling, yet believable teenage party. The world that Hank sees and tells us abouta world fraught with pitfalls, potholes, protagonists, antagonists, decency, and deceitis the world of the American pre-adolescent. As The Harvard Crimson observes, Hank is so authentic that one sometimes feels the need to check for that standard disclaimer reminding us that these characters are only fictitious. We like him, and root for him, and care about him. We share with him an astounding encounter with adult weekend warriors. Hank is a page-turning, contemporary, coming-of-age story of growing up amidst this wreckage of a dangerous and suspenseful summer. But all is not trouble-free for Hank. He must contend with a troubled family, an alien school, and a world otherwise booby-trapped with alluring but perilous possibilities. Hank bursts from the pages, vibrant and flawed. We stand by him on the baseball field and at the dinner tables of his remarried parents. We feel his pain, share his sorrows, and rejoice in his triumphs. Arch Montgomery, impressive in an incandescent debut, shows a mastery of his craft and an unusually perceptive insight into the human heart. Like the state of the world it reflects, good and evil are not always so clear-cut. There is no holding back here, notes Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Buzz Bissinger.
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