Monday, February 2, 2009

In Mike We Trust by P.E. Ryan

In Mike We Trust is a young adult novel about Garth who wants to be honest about who he is. He wants the world to know that he's gay. However, his mother would rather him keep his secret until he's older, she says. In other words, she doesn't want anyone to know. When Garth's uncle Mike shows up they welcome him into their home. Despite his less than exemplary reputation, he quickly gains their trust. That trust might be misplaced, however, especially when he gets Garth involved in some not-so-good activities. Garth forgets all about being honest and lies to his mother and his best friend about what he's been up to.

Ryan presents a pretty good novel about secrets, lies, honesty and about being who you are. It's well written with some interesting characters. I really liked Garth despite his decision to go along with his uncle's scams and lie to his mother about it. I so wanted his mother to come around and let him be who he was. I could almost see why Garth and his mother trusted Mike so readily. He was family, he looked so much like Garth's Dad (who died not so long ago) and Garth and his mother were at a vulnerable time in their lives. Also, Garth thought that Mike really understood him.

The story line wasn't really what I was expecting, though. I thought it might be really light-hearted. Instead it focused on some difficult decisions and issues that teens face. It was much better than I thought it was going to be.

I don't really want to get too much of the plot away, but I'd like to mention one thing about it. I can't help but wonder if the story line might give some unsavoury people ideas about how to make a fast buck or make others less trusting of some very worthy causes. In this story, Mike's shtick is a little transparent, but I can see someone seizing the opportunity to take advantage of trusting people.

Recommended for teens. Some of them might be able to relate to Garth's predicament. I think some adults might like it, too. ;)

Want to learn more about this book? Synopsis at HarperTeen.

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