This Ain’t No Video Game, Kid!
The summer before Jack Klements begins high school, his life is disrupted by a visit from his Irish cousin Finn, a ‘problem child’ sent from Dublin after being expelled from school. Obsessed with the violent computer game Gang Feud 3, Finn has trouble distinguishing between games and reality, and soon becomes involved with a Latino gang in Seattle’s inner city. Unwillingly drawn into this world, Jack falls in love with Karina, a Puerto Rican girl who hangs around with the gang. But in a dangerous sequence when Finn is kidnapped and held to ransom, it falls to Jack to rescue him. Family tensions rise as Jack feels himself squeezed between the demands of his straight-laced parents and the pressure to be loyal to his wayward cousin. A pacy debut into young adult fiction, This Ain’t No Video Game, Kid! touches on themes of cultural difference and inner-city problems whilst painting a gritty portrait of the differences between haves and have-nots in the city of Seattle.
Kevin Stevens – New Island Books