Going Underground by Susan Vaught
Del is a good kid who’s been caught in horrible circumstances. At seventeen, he’s trying to put his life together after an incident in his past that made him a social outcast—and a felon. As a result, he can’t get into college; the only job he can find is digging graves; and when he finally meets a girl he might fall in love with, there’s a sea of complications that threatens to bring the world crashing down around him again. But what has Del done?
Basing her story on real-life cases of teens in trouble with the law for texting explicit photos, Susan Vaught has created a moving portrait of an immensely likable character caught in a highly controversial legal scenario.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Gaah! I had a the most difficult time finishing this, given all the times I had to put it down. His circumstances are unfair; the consequences he was living, harsh. One would imagine at seventeen, the world his oyster, but it really isn’t. And well-meaning or no, all those goals they wanted him to set, and all those ‘next right things’ put on him, only made it more obvious what he could have or more apt, couldn’t.
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What’s the point?
My name is Del Hartwick and I have a felony conviction. In the eyes of the law, I am a criminal. I can’t tell you it was right, but I’m not sure I was wrong. .. The law says it was wrong, so I have to accept that, but I would like you to know the rest of the truth. I am not what those charges say about me. I’m not anything like that.
My name is Cain Delano Hartwick, and I want a future.
Judge me on what I can do, and give me a chance.
The most real reaction here, but also the most painful, is his and Marvin’s. Neither is happy with what’s become of Del, but they both don’t do anything about it. They’d rather not rock the boat, would rather continue as is. While, an understandable reaction, it’s also so frustrating... because a lot of what’s dealt him, is not his fault.
So, take a hot button topic, put in more than a couple of well-meaning folks who don’t know how to make things right, then throw in the possibility that there is no making things right at all. And in the center of all that, a kid who sees what he could have been but has to settle for so much less..
A 3.5/5 given an ending I felt too happy, though it's not a completely happy one either.
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