IN THE BREAK by Jack Lopez


Age Range: 14 & up
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When streetwise surfer Juan’s best friend Jamie pounds the daylights out of his bullying stepfather, Juan sees no option for him except to get out of town as quickly as possible. He, Jamie and Jamie’s sister Amber steal his parents’ car and drive south from California to Mexico, where surfing, romance and disaster await. Lopez’s debut shares much of the atmosphere and elements seen in urban fiction, and he nails the conversations between Juan, Jamie, Amber and their friends with a gritty, dead-on teen-speak that surges through the pages, giving extra shots of hang-ten adrenaline to the already fast-paced plot. In contrast, Juan’s inner voice, through which the story unfolds, utilizes a more sophisticated language that, while fumblingly poetic as a surfer dude should be, occasionally feels at odds with the dialogues and plot. Still, the story moves quickly, and despite an over-packed, rushed ending, this first effort will score big with surfing and sports fans. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-316-00874-5
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2006