Double Negative



"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 in a dysfunctional family. 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.  (Summary and book cover courtesy of


This was a book that was uncomfortable to read.  It was uncomfortable because the book tells the story of many teens, but who may not have the opportunities Hutch does.  In this book, McKenzie touches on learning disabilities, eating disorders, alcoholism, drugs and more.  Despite heavy topics touched on, the story is uplifting.

Hutch is going through the normal teenage struggles and feels alone.  And just as he reaches his lowest point, he finds the opportunities to make friends and find mentors, albeit begrudgingly.  It’s as through these relationships he realizes that the lasting impact his choices on himself and those around him. 

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Folks looking for a realistic glimpse into the experiences of many underachieving high school students.

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