Tap Out by Eric Divine
Tap Out is about life in a trailer park. It’s heartbreakingly realistic, from the foul language and drug use to the unreported rapes and whore houses. It’s the story of a young man named Tony and his life of trouble. Tony’s mom is an alcoholic and recovering drug addict who loves all the wrong men. Her latest is a real piece of cake, beating and eventually putting her into the hospital. When Tony tries to stand up to the scum bag, he ends up being beat almost senseless himself. Tony is very smart, but feels trapped in the trailer park where he lives. He is forced to deal crank by the neighboring gangs and has little hope of improving his circumstances. The only good thing in Tony’s life is a mixed martial arts class he is coerced into joining by his best friend Rob. In this class he learns how to fight and how to defend himself, and when to ‘tap out’ or give in. He doesn’t really do a lot of ‘Tapping Out’ but the title fits the book well. After more and more setbacks it seems that he might eventually have a slim shot at getting out of the park but to get there a lot has to happen and he ends up losing a lot, including his best friend. I had a very hard time finishing this book, in fact I skipped ahead to the last few chapters once I was about half way in. The writing was good, the story and plot were decent, it just wasn’t my kind of book. This one will be popular with older teen boys, especially reluctant readers. I would not put this in a school library but perhaps the adult section of a public library because of the language. While very realistic and modern, the language will cause problems with some parents.