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Punkzilla by Adam Rapp
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Punkzilla

by Adam Rapp

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Narrated by Matthew Stadelmann. Jamie is sent to military school after a rebellious period but he runs away to Portland, Oregon, where he runs with other outcast teenagers and engages in petty crimes. He receives a letter from older brother Pete that reveals he is dying and would like to see Jamie again soon. During his bus and hitchhiking journey to Memphis to see Pete, Jamie pens letters to his brother sharing his road experiences and inner thoughts. Narrator Stadelmann sounded vaguely like Ray Romano trying to sound cool which for me took the edge off what should be the edgy voice of a troubled teen. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Ibreally liked the writing in this book. However, it started to feel overly far fetched after a while. Content is also rather explicit for YA. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Ibreally liked the writing in this book. However, it started to feel overly far fetched after a while. Content is also rather explicit for YA. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This was a very gritty read. Punkzilla is a kid named Jamie trying to make his way to Memphis to see his brother before he dies of cancer. The book is written in epistolary. Mostly it's letters that Jamie is writing to Peter but there are also letters from his parents and other brother Edward and a few other select people. He's been living on the streets since he ran away from a military academy his parents sent him to. Neither of the boys get along with their father. When Jamie lives on the streets he steals, attacks people, does drugs and fools around with girls. A lot of this is painful to read about and it feels horrible to watch. However there are shining moments and they are mostly in the form of some of the people he meets. Some of the people that offer him rides and help him out are in fact the scum of the earth, pretty much the way you think they would be, but there are also some great people; like Sam, a kid he meets at the bus station after getting jumped in the bathroom. Sam treats the incident as kind of matter of fact but also helps Jamie as much as he can, but in a way that is so natural that you know Sam doesn't even think of it as helping Jamie. I also love getting the extra insight into Sam through his letter to author of the robot invasion book. There is also Lewis the transsexual that gives him a place to crash for a few days and even offers to drive Jamie to Memphis. These characters are what keep this book from being completely dark and terrible. It's these characters that led me to give it an extra star. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
This was a very gritty read. Punkzilla is a kid named Jamie trying to make his way to Memphis to see his brother before he dies of cancer. The book is written in epistolary. Mostly it's letters that Jamie is writing to Peter but there are also letters from his parents and other brother Edward and a few other select people. He's been living on the streets since he ran away from a military academy his parents sent him to. Neither of the boys get along with their father. When Jamie lives on the streets he steals, attacks people, does drugs and fools around with girls. A lot of this is painful to read about and it feels horrible to watch. However there are shining moments and they are mostly in the form of some of the people he meets. Some of the people that offer him rides and help him out are in fact the scum of the earth, pretty much the way you think they would be, but there are also some great people; like Sam, a kid he meets at the bus station after getting jumped in the bathroom. Sam treats the incident as kind of matter of fact but also helps Jamie as much as he can, but in a way that is so natural that you know Sam doesn't even think of it as helping Jamie. I also love getting the extra insight into Sam through his letter to author of the robot invasion book. There is also Lewis the transsexual that gives him a place to crash for a few days and even offers to drive Jamie to Memphis. These characters are what keep this book from being completely dark and terrible. It's these characters that led me to give it an extra star. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763630314, Hardcover)

An award-winning writer and playwright hits the open road for a searing novel-in-letters about a street kid on a highstakes trek across America.

For a runaway boy who goes by the name "Punkzilla," kicking a meth habit and a life of petty crime in Portland, Oregon, is a prelude to a mission: reconnecting with his older brother, a gay man dying of cancer in Memphis. Against a backdrop of seedy motels, dicey bus stations, and hitched rides, the desperate fourteen-year-old meets a colorful, sometimes dangerous cast of characters. And in letters to his sibling, he catalogs them all — from an abusive stranger and a ghostly girl to a kind transsexual and an old woman with an oozing eye. The language is raw and revealing, crackling with visceral details and dark humor, yet with each interstate exit Punkzilla’s journey grows more urgent: will he make it to Tennessee in time? This daring novel offers a narrative worthy of Kerouac and a keen insight into the power of chance encounters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:07 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Punkzilla" is on a mission to see his older brother "P", before "P" dies of cancer. Still buzzing from his last hit of meth, he embarks on a days-long trip from Portland, Ore. to Memphis, Tenn., writing letters to his family and friends. Along the way, he sees a sketchier side of America and worries if he will make it to see his brother in time.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763630314, 0763652970

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