The Last Chance Texaco

The Last Chance Texaco
by Brent Hartinger
YA fiction. 225 pp.
HarperTempest. 2004.

As mentioned previously, I love me some Brent Hartinger. So it surprised me when Fobby pointed out that there is one that I haven't read. Egads! So I proceeded directly to the Devil's Den and ordered a copy. In hardcover. Because that's how I read my Hartinger.

The Last Chance Texaco is a novel about kids in a group home named Kindle House, nicknamed Last Chance Texaco. This is the last stop for troubled kids in The System before they get sent off to juvenile detention at Rabbit Island, a.k.a. Eat-Their-Young Island.

The story itself follows Lucy. Her cynicism is palpable. She's been in the system long enough to become jaded and fully embittered. This leads her to mistrust the counselors and despise the house therapist. And she lashes out at the privileged in her high school.

However, this book is touching because it shows Lucy grow as she realizes everyone is not out to get her. True, some people are, but many aren't. She learns that there are people she can trust and that she can open her heart to let others in. And I think that message of hope makes the book worth it.

Of Hartinger's titles, I think this one is likely his weakest. The mystery itself had too many red herrings and not enough clues, making the criminal a complete surprise. I felt the ending wrapped up far too quickly and rushed, which is saying something considering that I like my denouement snappy.

Still. Read The Last Chance Texaco and Hartinger's other titles. It's good reading.

1 comment:

katherine said...

the BEST book eva!