19 October 2010

Payback Time; Carl Deuker

Payback TimePayback Time by Carl Deuker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know kids like Mitch - kids with drive, with passion, intelligence and curiosity, who want to change things during their last year or so of school.  Mitch's determination to go to Columbia for journalism, leaving Seattle behind, sounds like so many students I've met.  His relegation to sports after he loses the newspaper editor election rankles at first, but the way in which he embraces the task (a by-line in the Seattle Times doesn't hurt, ditto the promise of a summer internship).

It also doesn't hurt that he's working with Kimi, a very cute photographer.  Their partnership also feels very real: the negotiations between boy/girl, American/immigrant, reporter/photographer are like those I've seen many times before.

The underlying mystery in this book (who is Angel Marichal) and Mitch's determination to solve it are fun, but for me, watching Mitch grow was more fun.  His mistakes and successes didn't feel as though they were there just to move the mystery along.

ARC provided by publisher.

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