Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy

by Ryan Potter
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Looming above Zach Ramsey's hometown of Blaine are the smokestacks of the truck assembly plant, the greasy lifeblood of this Detroit suburb. Surrounded by drunks, broken marriages, and factory rats living in fear of the pink slip, Zach is getting the hell out of town after graduation. But first, he's going to enjoy the summer before senior year.

Getting smashed

…  See more details below

Overview

Looming above Zach Ramsey's hometown of Blaine are the smokestacks of the truck assembly plant, the greasy lifeblood of this Detroit suburb. Surrounded by drunks, broken marriages, and factory rats living in fear of the pink slip, Zach is getting the hell out of town after graduation. But first, he's going to enjoy the summer before senior year.

Getting smashed with his best friend Tank and falling in love for the first time, Zach's having a blast until he uncovers dark secrets that shake his faith in everyone—including Tank, a wrestler whose violent mood swings betray a shocking habit.

As he gets pulled deeper into an ugly scandal, Zach is faced with the toughest decision of his life—one that will prove just what kind of adult he's destined to be.

"Fast-paced and riveting."—Kirkus Reviews

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jan Chapman
Seventeen-year-old Zach is anticipating senior year and crafting his BEP (Blaine Escape Plan). Blaine is his hometown in Michigan, a fading blue-collar town dependent on the Detroit auto industry for jobs. The economy has hit Blaine hard, but one thing that brings the town together is high school sports. Zach plays football, albeit reluctantly, to keep his father happy, and his best friend, Tank, is a talented wrestler. When Zach's older brother, Justin, quits football, Zach assumes it is because the coach is a notorious jerk. But Justin confesses that the coach is pushing steroids on all the players. Zach realizes this means Tank, who has been gaining a lot of weight, is also on steroids. To complicate matters, Zach is in love with Tank's sister, Sarah, and Tank has vowed to kill anyone who dares to go out with his sister. Tank is an impulsive risk-taker who has difficulty controlling his anger, which is now exacerbated by his use of steroids. Zach must risk his friendship with Tank to "out" the coach and pursue his relationship with Sarah. This stunning, gritty, and bittersweet debut novel is pitch-perfect in its depiction of contemporary male adolescence. Although this could be called an "issue" novel because it addresses the problem of steroids and the devastating effects of a bad economy, these issues add depth and definition to the characters, instead of taking center stage in a more crude "don't do drugs" polemic. These are real, recognizable characters, and their voices are authentic. Pair this with Robert Lipsyte's Raider's Night (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2006/VOYA April 2006), although Exit Strategy is a much better book. Reviewer: Jan Chapman
Publishers Weekly
Potter’s debut is set in Blaine, Mich., a fictional Detroit suburb dependent on its automotive assembly plant for jobs. Zach is desperate to leave after his senior year, hoping to avoid the fate of his parents, who have lived and worked in Blaine their whole lives. In the meantime, he becomes determined to expose his football coach, who he suspects is supplying steroids to athletes, and his best friend Tank’s father, an undercover cop who he thinks is mistreating his children and having an affair. Zach’s righteous motivations are not quite clear; he tells readers, “I’m about the farthest thing from a hero as one can get,” and he has no problem stealing and reselling beer from his party store job (“by the end of my second week, I’m doing physical labor for no more than two hours per shift... which eventually leads to a lot of smoking, drinking, and stealing”). The working-class setting feels well realized, but secondary characters and subplots—Zach’s parents’ strained marriage, his attraction to Tank’s newly hot twin sister—are less so. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Zach's smitten with best buddy Tank's twin sister, Sarah, who is suddenly hot. He's also desperate to leave his crummy Rust Belt suburb. However, Tank is both super-protective of his sister and a competitive champion wrestler whose own exit strategy from this impoverished Michigan town is a sports scholarship, and he'll get it however he can. The twins' father is an intimidating undercover cop, so Zach has to be sly. Despite flawed narrative logic, strong pacing keeps the story moving along with cursing, underage smoking, drinking, theft, vandalism and a little kissing. Outrage over the failures of adults portrayed doesn't mesh with Zach and Tank's own criminal behavior. A penchant for theft and making money selling booze from the liquor store where he works is no biggie as far as Zach's concerned, but the adultery of Tank's dad, separated from a drug-using wife for years, is horrifying to him, as is a coach who is pushing steroids. Nonetheless, it's an entertaining-enough summer story of a bad boy with clueless parents, a sour Michigan economy and a few secrets thrown in to make it both fast-paced and riveting. (Fiction. YA)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738715735
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
03/28/2010
Pages:
303
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
HL790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Ryan Potter's (Royal Oak, Michigan) short fiction has appeared in several literary journals. Exit Strategy is his debut novel. To learn more about Ryan Potter, visit www.exitstrategy17.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >