June 12, 2015

Review Update: Surf Mules

Surf Mules On August 30, 2009, I named SURF MULES by G. Neri one of my seven books of summer.  It recently came to my attention that Carolrhoda LAB (a Lerner imprint) put out a new paperback edition with a minimalist graphic cover.  This is an all-new chance to pick up this seriously underrated novel.  (Okay, if you still live at home you might have to hide *this* cover from your parents due to the marijuana leaf.  I still like the streamlined design and cool movie-poster-worthy title treatment.)

My original recommendation:

Summer's almost over, but the Books of Summer list is yet to be completed! Here's another hardcover for the list - one that's far better than it ought to be. I picked this one up expecting it to be so-so, an impression enforced by the prologue that recounts one of Logan and Z-boy's dumber exploits. But SURF MULES quickly becomes an emotional novel that will appeal to boys.

Logan's smart for a surfer, but it takes more than brains to go to college. And when his former best friend dies on the wave he spent his whole life wanting to ride, Logan is thrown for a loop. So when his other pal Z-boy hooks him up with the local drug dealer for an easy job, he takes it. And of course, things go terrible wrong.

(Everything I know about drug muling I learned from this book and Maria eres llena de gracia, neither of which make it an attractive job despite explaining very well why people would do it.)

SURF MULES combines comedy, adventure, and poignancy to create a book that is far less silly than it seems on the surface. Reading about Logan's last summer before college is a good way to cap off your own summer.

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