Friday, September 19, 2008

The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

Gecko Fosse drove the getaway car.

Terence Florian ran with the worst gang in Chicago.

Arjay Moran killed someone.

All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance at life in the form of Douglas Healy. A former juvenile delinquent himself, Healy is running an experimental halfway house in New York City where he wants to make a difference in the lives of kids like Gecko, Terence, and Arjay.

Things are going well, until one night Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious while trying to break up a scuffle among the boys. Terrified of the consequences, they drop him off at a hospital and run away. But when Healy awakes, he has no memory of them or the halfway house. Afraid of being sent back to Juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if the group leader never left. They will go to school, do their community service, attend therapy, and act like model citizens until Healy's memory returns and he can resume his place with them.

But life keeps getting in the when Gecko finds romance. Or Arjay gets famous. Or Terence starts reverting to his old ways. If the boys are discovered, their second chance will be their last.

The premise of this book is very promising, but I did have some problems. Some of the third person narration read kind of awkward at times and it took awhile for me to really feel for the characters. Also, this book lacks some of Korman's normal humor. That said, by the end I was invested in the characters and actually felt nervous for them during the climax. Right now this is a high maybe for me, but I would be really interested to see what other people think.


Patty said...

I liked this book quite a bit. It made be think of Holes, with the juvenile delinquents turning out to be good guys. I'm giving it a YES.

Kat Werner said...

I think I may have been being a little hard on it because it is a Korman book. Glad to hear what someone else thought.

Allison said...

good book, definitely one that I wold book talk but I think there are much more deserving yeses on the list. so I'm a nay