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Dirtbags by Teresa McWhirter


by Teresa McWhirter

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I really wanted to like this book, I really did. The back cover made it sound like it was a book right up my ally with punk kids and trying to figure out one's way in life. The writing style flowed well and was easy to read but I just didn't like the author's approach to things. However, at the same time things were kind of disjointed, it would go from the start of fall then it was the day after Halloween, or certain characters disappeared or reappeared. I'm not sure if these were editing mistakes or if the author wanted to really show how the main character's life was spinning out of control but I didn't like it. I also didn't like the coarse language which surprised me because I love coarse language. I just felt like it was over used more for shock value then any literary reason. I also really liked the characters but i wished the author delved into their psyches' some more or maybe a little more back story. Why did Sally cry after she punched that girl in the bar? Little things like that I wanted to know. ( )
  MariaKhristina | Jan 20, 2009 |
I am a fan of young adult fiction and I am a particular fan of YA with social messages. So it was with great enthusiasm that I started reading Dirtbags, written by Teresa McWhirter.

Unfortunately, as I kept reading, it became apparent to me that this book would not be a great read for me.

The book opens up with a very brief description of the living situation of our main character Spider McKenzie. Spider now lives with an elderly and extremely eccentic aunt who loves gambling - and, of course, does not really care about Spider - her niece.

Anxious to get away, she starts renting an apartment, in an extremely seedy part of town, with some other people, including a character named Blue.

The novel then proceeds to detail, for us, all of the misguided, crazy, illegal and immature things these young people actually put themselves , each other and other people through. There are lots of drugs, booze, sweating, screaming and general upheaval.

I am sorry, but this story was depressing, which would have been fine, except the whole thing felt so contrived and the characters were all so horrible, that it just felt as though the whole thing was wayyyyyyy over the top.

I have no problem with main characters who steal or do drugs, etc. if it is going to do something for the storyline - but in Dirtbags, I felt as though the author used every gimmick possible and then turned around and claimed it was about "growing up".

Unfortunately, this book did not work for me at all. ( )
  Nitestar | Aug 28, 2008 |
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