Tessa’s Young Adult Book Recommendation: If I ever get out of here by Eric Gansworth

Don’t read this now!  Eric Gansworth has written a worthy debut in the new YA book If I ever get out of here. But don’t read it now—it ends with a huge, dangerous snow storm—no need to make our current weather any worse by freaking out over a book. Not that you would. I didn’t, either, I’m just saying.Jacket Cover

Comparisons will be drawn to Sherman Alexie’s excellent The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian, and that isn’t really fair.  Gansworth’s effort is very different, although its main character is also a young reservation boy, Lewis Blake, struggling with poverty and acceptance in a mainly white school. But Lewis isn’t an athlete, the reservation is in upstate New York, and his white friend George is also an outsider, a military kid with an Air Force dad and a German mom.

If you’re a Beatles fan, this book will have extra interest for you. Lewis and George are huge Beatles fans, and Gansworth has used the tired device of naming all the chapters with the titles of Beatles’ songs. It works well, I just wish it hadn’t been done before. So. Many. Times. (Kinda like how often people use periods between words for emphasis nowadays.)

A quick read with funny moments as well as cringe-worthy ones, this book rings true and makes you love the main characters as well as their families. ~ Tessa    January 2014     4 out of 5 stars