Caged Warrior by Alan Sitomer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What could have been a stronger book lost points for triteness of plot and (although this is cheap, because it wasn't the publisher or author's fault) for missing pages at the end of the ARC. From what I've read in the other reviews, it appears that this is going to have a sequel, though I'm at a loss as to why.
The triteness is that once again we have a boy from an impoverished background (inner city Detroit, mixed race, missing mother, alcoholic/drug addict father) doing something he doesn't particularly want to do but does because he's trying to provide a stable family environment for his much-younger sister. McCutcheon (aka M D, Doc or Bam Bam) struggles to overcome all that and get out, this time to an elite charter school that he somehow magically wins a much-coveted placement in, despite not wanting it or even trying for it. Instead he's focussed on winning MMA cage matches, being raised as a warrior by his former heavyweight boxer father.
While I've read similar stories many times before, it's probably going to appeal to the target readers, who don't have the years or breadth of reading behind them that I do. And for those interested in MMA, well... there's definitely enough here about training and fighting to keep them reading.
ARC provided by publisher.