The Bad Decisions Playlist

1 MP3-CD. 7:34 hrs. Brilliance. Oct. 2016. $14.99. ISBN 9781536614534.
Gr 9 Up—Austin Methune is your classic 16-year-old screw-up. Though his mother told him that his father had died, he meets the man—who turns out to be Shane Tyler, the famous musician. Shane seems perfect: a parent who doesn't nag or stress over math grades, who encourages his son's love for music, and who seems truly happy to finally have Austin in his life. The veneer falls away quickly as Austin learns that his father is a heroin addict and completely unreliable. Mix in a few intense weeks of teen-angsty love, followed by a devastating break-up, and Austin is an emotional train wreck. The book takes a dramatic turn when Austin "borrows" his soon-to-be-stepfather's car and drives all night to New York City in an attempt to put on the show that his father has bailed on. The consequences of this seem to have a sobering effect. Two unlikely friends will also help save him from himself; with good humor and humility, Austin begins to finally get it together. Aaron Landon's narration is excellent, and Austin's self-deprecating voice is perfect.
VERDICT Recommended. A funny though emotionally charged addition to any collection.

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