This was a very random pick on NetGalley and I am very glad that I got the chance to read the ARC. Also, I am quite surprised not seeing many people talking about it or even mentioning it in their posts. Definitely, give this one a try if you have a chance. Why? you might ask.
Matt Nolan is the high school drug dealer, deadbeat, and soon-to-be dropout according to everyone at his school. His vice principal is counting down the days until Mr. 60% (aka Matt) finally flunks out and is no longer his problem.
Meet Amanda. The overly cheerful social outcast whose optimism makes Matt want to hurl. Stuck as partners during an after-school club (mandatory for Matt), it’s only a matter of time until Amanda discovers Matt’s secret. But Amanda is used to dealing with heartbreak, and she’s determined to help Matt find a way to give life 100 percent.
First of all, whoever wrote this blurb should be ashamed of him/herself for spoiling the whole plot! C’mon! We don’t need to know EVERYTHING about the book to actually read it. (don’t you worry, I deleted the spoilery bits from the blurb above) Who is your friend?!
Second of all, if you are not sure whether to pick it up or not, let me make it easier for you. The book is only 192 pages long! The writing is very accessible and the book reads in one evening. This is always a plus.
When it comes to the plot, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before but I wasn’t bored. It was heavier than I thought it would be but I enjoyed it nonetheless!
Matt is a “60% student”, this means that he is doing just enough in every class to pass, but never stands out from everyone else. He is known for his drug dealing and even though the principle cannot prove it, he is watching Matt’s every move.
There is a reason for his law breaking and there is a reason for him to try keeping a low profile in school. However, does it justify the drug dealing or other law breaking acts?
I don’t think so.
This is my main concern with this book. It didn’t address the “felonies” properly, as if justifying Matt’s behaviour by what he was going through. Yes, he was struggling. Yes, he was trying to help. But something like that cannot be left uncontested without any sort of consequences.
Other than that, I didn’t really have any big issues with the story. It was very emotional and had many warm moments that made you realise how nice it is to have supportive and positive people in your life.
Thank you NetGalley and Crown Books for Young Readers for the free ARC of this book!