Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Double Negative by C Lee McKenzie

Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie
Published by: Evernight Teen
Publication date: July 25th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
“My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn’t been laid yet. I couldn’t go into the slammer before that happened.” Hutch McQueen.

Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.
Double Negative by C Lee McKenzie is a story about a sixteen year old boy, Hutch McQueen, who's growing up with parents who are apart. His dad is a trucker and his mom is a drunk and possibly a whore. He cannot read well so he has a fellow student that he relies on to read the chapters to him so that he can memorize them for tests. He's also a very good listener. He just wants to pass, nothing over the top. Just to get his parents off of his back. 
He has made some bad choices in school. I think the choices he made are the choices he was given being raised the way he is. When the parents don't partake in their kids lives, they kind of have to figure it out on their own. And besides, if the parent doesn't care why should he? It engrains them with a different outlook on life and not a good one unfortunately. 
He leaves his home because he's sick of his mom and there never being any food and only beer in the fridge. So he relies on a good friend of his to stay with which goes sour real fast and he finds himself in even more trouble. He is required to attend a new program called the Youth Intervention Program after hours at his school. The school he can't stand to be at for the eight hours he's supposed to be there. He must go for a period of six months. If he fails to attend, he will be sent to court and suffer the system.
What I enjoyed about the story the most is that even though his parents weren't there to help him the anything he had others that come into his life like Father Kerry. He's the leader of the Youth Prevention Program and wants to take Hutch under his wing and let him know that he too had problems when he was a youth. There's also Nyla who also has had a tough life for being bullied for her weight and has no other friends but Hutch. The pivotal moment is when he meets Maggie. 
Sometimes meeting the right people can change your life! I appreciated how C Lee McKenzie told the story, it felt so real and it's was easy to relate to the characters especially Hutch.
Job well done! 4 stars
In my other life--the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers--I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. Go ahead. Pat me on the back.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling cafĂ©, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.

I've just set out my perfect life. Day after day after day.