Friday, November 13, 2009

Why I Fight by J. Adams Oaks

Wyatt has been traveling with his uncle since he was twelve years old, when Uncle Spade spirited him away from neglecting parents and took him on the road. They travel constantly, Spade selling goods and visiting his 'ladyfriends' with Wyatt in tow.

When Spade realizes the fighting potential for tall, hulking Wyatt, the teen is dragged into a world of violence and self-destruction. He tells his story directly to the reader in a brutally honest narrative. Not so much about the fighting he does, but why he does it.

Wyatt narrates in the spirit of Forrest Gump, telling his story to someone as he leaves it all behind. The style is difficult to read at first (Oaks uses dashes instead of quotes, and Wyatt's grammar reflects his erratic schooling), but once I got used to it, I was dragged into the story he told.

Food for thought:
  • Spade rescued Wyatt from seriously neglectful parents, but how much better was this option? He didn't go to school, had no friends, and essentially lived in a car during his teen years. He worships Spade, but is it justified?
  • Spade also brought him into fighting, seeing a monetary opportunity in his powerful physique. Wyatt was constantly bloodied and bruised, but he was on top...for a while.
The visual aspects of this novel were powerful additions. The cover reflects Wyatt's gritty story beautifully, and there are blood spatters at the beginning of every chapter. You will not forget that this is a survival story.

The Bottom Line:
Even if you're not a fighter, Wyatt's story is worth learning. Read it when you want something serious.

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