Reviewed by Grandma Bev for TeensReadToo.com
Colin Neenan takes you inside the mind of a young killer in his newest book. THICK is Nick's confession to murder as he writes down what happened for his lawyer...and you learn things about Nick that you don't expect. Nick is in terrible trouble, incarcerated in a holding cell with fifteen criminals, awaiting his trial for killing someone...
A very troubled seventeen-year-old, Nick's mother has been dead for three years and his sister, Hope, has been his protection between himself and his alcoholic, always angry father--who verbally abuses Nick every chance he gets, calling him stupid and thick .
What has driven this boy past the edge? It seemed that things were going much better; he got an 82 on his math homework, and then landed a job with the help of Alice, a girl that might like him. Maybe his desire to belong and to fit in with the other kids and be liked isn't so far-fetched, after all.
Then everything falls apart. There is Sam, Alice's very abusive boyfriend who leaves bruises on her. Then, Nick's father is drunk again, and taking out his rage on his sister, Hope, because she wants to go to college. Nick and his father get into a physical altercation, then Nick rushes to Alice's apartment to help her escape from Sam. In the ensuing melee, there is a gun, and everyone screaming at once, and then all the blood.
Neenan has given Nick the perfect voice for a teen with a bit of a learning disability, who has feelings of inadequacy and tolerates bullies at school. He is in a special-education program at his high school. Nick gives us glimpses of his full range of emotions in this very exciting, sympathetic story. Fast paced with escalating suspense, impossible to put down, this is a quick read, with an easy vocabulary, sure to capture the imagination of that reluctant reader.