Pain & Wastingsby Carrie Mac
At fifteen, Ethan is on the fast track to nowhere. In and out of group homes and constantly in trouble, Ethan is fighting to find a sense of who he is. After breaking into an amusement park and being savaged by a police dog, he is befriended by a paramedic. Offered a choice of court or going on a ride-along in an ambulance, Ethan takes what he thinks is the easy way out. On Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Ethan comes face to face with the horrific truth from his past and must learn to deal with where he came from—and where he is going.
This is the third novel that Canadian author Carrie Mac has written for the Orca series of high interest/low reading level books for young adults. “Pain and Wastings” is the nickname given the street corner of Main and Hastings. Like its name, the corner is known for the junkies, hookers and homeless who populate the downtown sector. Ethan Kirby lived in that area growing up; now he lives in a group home. But in a couple of days he will be sent to “juvie” for his part in a high-spirited prank that included jumping onto a sedan and breaking into a local amusement park. While resisting arrest, he is seriously wounded by a police dog and the paramedic who treats him suggests that she knows his past. More than the bite and the arrest, it is this bit of knowledge that sends him reeling. Ethan has carefully hidden away his life as the child of a junkie, his mother’s death and the horrific events surrounding it. Now Holly, the paramedic, is resurrecting the past and he is compelled to find out what she knows about his mother. Ethan is a troubled boy with a troubled background and Holly gives him a chance to find some peace. Readers will be drawn to Ethan as they follow him on his journey with Holly, literally riding along on paramedic calls, reliving moments with his mother and finally facing the horror that has haunted him. While a story of tough kids in a tough situation, this is also a story of hope and an unlikely friendship. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)
Read an Excerpt
"First dead person, kid?"John says as he pulls the ambulance into traffic. I decide not to answer him, because I don't want to get into it. I eye Holly, but she's not answering for me. How much does she know?
I decide not to answer him, because I don't want to get into it. I eye Holly, but she's not answering for me. How much does she know?
Meet the Author
Carrie Mac's first novel The Beckoners won the Arthur Ellis YA Award, is a CLA Honour book. She is available for school and library presentations, and has been known to hold the interest of a couple hundred teens where others have failed. Maybe it's the tattoos. For more information, visit www.carriemac.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Ethan Mingus Kirby was born to a mother whose life became filled with heroine, poverty, and prostitution. They lived in the ghetto neighborhood at Main and Hastings, nicknamed Pain and Wastings. At the tender age of six, Ethan witnessed his mother's brutal murder. This short novel picks up after Ethan has spent years in numerous foster homes and developed a bitter attitude toward life in general. He has a run-in with the law and is given the choice of a five shift ride-along with the local paramedics or a stint in juvie. Ethan chooses the paramedic adventure, never dreaming that he will be reliving that horrible time in his past when his mother died. One of the high-interest, lower-reading level series by Orca Book Publishing, PAIN & WASTINGS is one young man's emotional journey into the past to deal with his demons. It is hoped that by doing so he can build a more successful future.
Pain & Wasting was intriguing and it made me feel like I was actually watching all of it happening. The way the author (Carrie Mac) put a lot of effort in making the characters believable. The way Ethan life was set up he lived in a foster home he was a rebel even though he tried to do the right thing. I loved the way the author included when Ethan actually seen his first dead person and he just stayed to himself even though he had a lot on his mind like a real teenager like myself would really enjoyed and I usually don’t like to read but this book made me want to keep reading and not put it down. The characters were good but I did not get the part when Ethan and his friend climb the tower his friend disappeared but Ethan got attacked by the police canine I did not really get that part but it was a great book in my opinion