Young Adult

Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin

Though listed mainly as adult fiction (perhaps due to some mature language/content), this book also has a subject listing of teen fiction. After hearing Willy Vlautin speak at a recent Orcas Island event, I wanted to give one of his books a try. I chose “Lean on Pete” because the main character is a 15-year-old boy, named Charley. This is a heartbreaking story of one tragedy after another, homelessness, and Charley pretty much hitting rock-bottom, in terms of luck. Just as I was nearing the end of the book and totally depressed about Charley’s situation…things took a turn for the better. I loved the hopeful ending. Not a sugar coated ending, but hopeful and realistic. An emotionally charged story of a young adult thrust into desperate circumstances and his survival against some tough odds. The writing style is “lean” and works well with the overall story. I found myself cheering for Charley along his journey.

~Lisa

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