Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
Three hard-partying fifteen year olds form a special friendship. Together, they try to cope with the problems they all face in their home lives. Trust is the bond that cements their friendship. But can this friendship, with even the strongest of bonds, survive the choices they made one dark November night?
Mick Salisbury and his friends, Brody and Aaron, all struggle with personal demons. Their fathers have not turned out to be the positive role models young boys deserve. One is dead, one is in prison, and the other betrayed his family and refuses to accept responsibility for devastating their lives. In response to their unsettled lives, the three boys have turned to rum and Coke and late nights out to ease their pain. Mick knows what they are doing carries a risk of consequence that may be more than he bargained for, but he is powerless to stop.
CHEATED tells about a series of events that lead to the tragic death of a homeless man, and the attempt to cover up the crime and avoid punishment. Author Patrick Jones takes readers into the mind of Mick Salisbury, where they will learn about a love for his devoted, hard-working mother and a hatred of the man he refers to as his ex-dad. Mick feels a sense of betrayal from his parents and a sense of self-betrayal as he deals with his role in this deadly mistake.
Written in a straight-forward, no-nonsense style, CHEATED will have teens and adults alike captivated by the thoughts and feelings of this tortured young man. Readers will no doubt feel a mix of sympathy and horror as a few short weeks of Mick's life unfold on the pages of this well-crafted YA novel.