Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
SUCKERPUNCH is the story of two brothers - narrator Marcus and his younger brother, Enrique.
Marcus, the shy one, has spent most of his life looking out for Enrique. For some reason that Marcus has yet to fully understand, their father physically abused Enrique. Why one boy and not the other? That is a question Marcus would love to have answered. As a result of the abuse and then abandonment, Enrique is medicated for depression and violent tendencies, and Marcus is trying to keep things under control as the "man" of the family.
When the boys learn their father has continued to send money to help their hardworking mother, they are pleasantly surprised. When their mother tells them that their father is planning to return home to live with them, their reaction is anger and fear. Enrique decides he must be stopped, so with the help of a friend and his car, the brothers set out to visit their father. Armed with a starter's pistol, Enrique's green-haired girlfriend, and minus Enrique's medication, the positive outcome of this confrontation is in serious doubt.
SUCKERPUNCH is gritty and hard-hitting. Readers will soon bond with both Marcus and Enrique. The story flows smoothly, although my English teacher side did have trouble dealing with the lack of quotation marks in the dialogue. I did get over it somewhere around the halfway mark, but it could be a distraction for some readers.