When I read the blurb my ears perked up a bit. I mean, really. A young boy, Alex, abandoned by his mother, his father was either working night shifts or drinking. So Alex starts skipping school, stealing cars, smoking. I thought it was really interesting.And it was, don't get me wrong. It was an interesting story. The reader gets to see Alex grow up from a troubled teenager to a young man enlisted in the Army. And you get to see the struggles he overcomes. Stealing cars, getting arrested, being released from detention and going back to school where he's just as alone as before. You get to see all that. I felt the pacing was a little too slow for me. The inner monologue at times dragged a little too much for my comfort. Also, there where moments where I didn't connect at all with Alex. I mean, I understood his reasons for doing what he did. He wanted attention, he needed to fit in and he did whatever it took. But there were too many moments of "he didn't want to do this, but he kept doing it", "he didn't want to be here, but he didn't leave", "he didn't want to eat, but he kept eating" and other similar moments. It was in those moments that I couldn't help but think "well, if you don't want to..., don't". Those moments pulled me out of the story a few times. It is possible that I had high expectations to begin with. My experience with coming-of-age stories isn't that big, so maybe that's a factor.If you like coming-of-age stories, this could be the book for you.