Sara reviews ‘Breaking Into Cars’ by Emery C. Walters. This book was published on June 14th, 2015 by Queerteen Press and is 66 pages long.
NOTE: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: The author and one of the protagonists are transgender males. I couldn’t wait to read a story that had the inside scoop on what it is like to be a transgender male.
CLICK THE COVER TO BUY THE BOOK
Gay teen Jack is hiding out in a bully’s car in the hopes of retrieving his backpack when he’s joined by another stowaway. Brittany, who wants to be called Brandon, is a transgendered classmate also on the run. When the bully crashes his car, it’s the start of a journey that will bring Jack and Brandon together in the hopes of finding a new future.
Along the way, they meet Buster, a dog that saves their lives; Alvin, who is heading to Denver to sell his car and offers them a ride; and Ducky, a loud-mouthed but loveable woman who is apparently more than just Alvin’s friend.
When a tornado hits, Jack and Brandon have a chance to prove their mettle and show what they are made of. But is there happiness at the end of their journey?
This is the first book I have read by a transgender author. I was really hoping for insight as to what it might be like growing up as a transgender male. There are two main characters, Jack, who is gay, and Brandon, who is transgender male. I really enjoyed the parts of the book that focused on their relationship. I would have loved to know more about what Brandon was running from as well as more on Jack’s home life. There were elements to the story that brought up glimpses of the boys’ pasts, I wish the author would have gone into more detail as I think that would have added a lot to the book.
I really wanted to love this book, and there are parts that I really enjoyed. Regrettably I was really distracted throughout the book by all of the improbable occurrences. There are moments of an almost divine plan or force and ghosts in the book that I was able to take at face value-I expected them to be supernatural. Perhaps I needed to see the whole book as one giant spiritual journey for Jack and Brandon so that the improbable twists of fate wouldn’t divert my focus from the story. For instance, there was no explanation to why Brandon was in the car that Jack broke into or how he even got there. They also meet up with the most amazing dog on their journey. I love this dog, and his name, Busted, is perfect. I was able to roll with the dog’s supernatural abilities, but I was bothered about how Jack and Brandon came to acquire him. His owner apparently became frustrated chasing him and just drove off without him. For a dog as super cool as Busted, you don’t just leave him behind. I would have preferred a better reason for why they come to be with Busted.
One of the things I think I liked the best about this book was the story between Alvin and Ducky. I think it shows that no matter what age you are, life can be complicated. Alvin and Ducky try to find the best in their situation and are truly kind and helpful people.
There is a lot of potential in this book and I did enjoy parts of it. I would definitely recommend this book to any LGBT teen looking to escape from reality, because they would also be able to identify with the main characters. There are also plenty of silly and lighthearted moments to go along with some of the more intense situations that I think younger readers would enjoy.
6/10 pots of gold (60% recommended) -compares to 3/5 stars.