Surf Mules

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Overview

When Logan goes searching for the Perfect Monster Wave, he doesn’t expect his former best friend to be killed by it. Add to this a deadbeat dad who bankrupted his family and the possibility of college going down the drain, and Logan is suddenly in a tailspin.

So when small-time dealer Broza offers Logan and his dropout pal, Z-boy, a summer job that could make them rich, it seems his problems might be solved. But between Z-boy’s constant screwups, a band of Nazi surfers out for ...

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Overview

When Logan goes searching for the Perfect Monster Wave, he doesn’t expect his former best friend to be killed by it. Add to this a deadbeat dad who bankrupted his family and the possibility of college going down the drain, and Logan is suddenly in a tailspin.

So when small-time dealer Broza offers Logan and his dropout pal, Z-boy, a summer job that could make them rich, it seems his problems might be solved. But between Z-boy’s constant screwups, a band of Nazi surfers out for blood, and a mysterious stranger on their tail, Logan is starting to have some serious doubts about hauling contraband across country, and hopes just to make it home alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Avid surfer Logan goes into a sudden tailspin when his recently estranged friend, Fin, dies in a freak surfing accident. Fin, Logan learns, had been a drug mule for Broza, a local marijuana dealer. Needing a replacement mule, Broza uses Logan's best friend, Z-boy-a goodhearted but impulsive high school dropout who wants to get rich fast so he can surf and get high-to lure Logan into taking the job. Hair shorn and "dressed like Republicans in suits and ties," the two boys drive a marijuana-stocked car cross-country, through increasingly dangerous and ultimately tragic events. The short, high drama chapters may appeal particularly to older struggling readers, but Logan's agonized wrestling with morally ambiguous choices and his flawed yet appealing family and friends should find a wide audience. While a romantic subplot with surfer friend Emmie offers hopeful glimmers, the tortured but loving friendship between Logan and Z-boy proves poignant and heartbreaking. Ages 14-up. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Booklist
. . . a powerful story . . . this will find an audience among teens looking for gritty contemporary fiction.
VOYA - Diane Colson
Fresh from high school graduation in Southern California, seventeen-year-old Logan and his best friend, Z-boy, are headed across the country on a road trip. The two surfer dudes are recovering from the death of their close friend, Fin, as a result of a surfing accident just days earlier. They are also both facing uncertain futures: Z-boy did not graduate with the class, and Logan's deadbeat, surfer father has gambled away the family's savings. When a local drug dealer offers them big money to haul some product to Orlando, Florida, the boys feel that it might be their only chance at a decent future. There are indeed many adventures crammed into this fast-paced novel. It opens with Logan and Z-boy tangling with vicious surfers in Texas and then flashes back to Fin's death on the beach in California. The surfer scene is very well portrayed, including the dark side of an apparently carefree lifestyle. Some readers might be taken aback by the prevalence of marijuana use, cumulating in the highly illegal journey that is fraught with danger. But many others will be caught up in the page-turning action of the story, unsure whether to root for the boys' success or hope that justice will be served. Neri does a great job of creating sympathy for the two hapless surfers, naive like many other young people seeking quick solutions to life's problems. It is a title for mature high school readers. Reviewer: Diane Colson
Children's Literature - Laura J. Brown
Logan is a recent high school graduate who decides to take a summer job with his best bud and fellow surfer, Z-boy. The job is to transport illegal drugs across country. Z-boy is just a bit crazy about surfing and when he gives a friendly shout out to fellow surfers while they are driving through Texas, they find themselves in a very dangerous situation. The Texan surfers are not friendly to outsiders; in fact they are down right hostile. The two friends are surrounded, outnumbered, about to be beaten up and car jacked, Logan is shocked when Z-Boy pulls out his cell and dials 911. Logan realizes that if the cops get there in time, he and Z-Boy face a whole new set of problems and begins to think about his future in jail instead of in college. He knows he cannot depend on his loser father for anything, not to post bond, let alone pay college tuition. That was one reason he decided to become a surf mule. The other reason was because of his former best friend Fin. Logan taught Fin how to surf and Fin had ridden the perfect monster wave and it had ended his life and changed the lives of everyone who cared about him. Readers will find the characters in this book to be vivid and the language of the dialog reflective of teenagers that get in over their heads. It a fast-paced book chock full of life lessons. Reviewer: Laura J. Brown
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Neri's novel catches readers' interest on the very first page and propels them to the end in this intense, funny, and exciting read. Logan lives in Southern California. He is planning to graduate with his best friend, Z-boy, and then spend the summer catching killer waves before he goes off to college. All seems well until one of his friends dies surfing, Z-boy is not able to graduate, and he learns that his college fund has been frozen to cover his alcoholic father's debts. With the world drowning him faster than a killer wipe-out, Logan can't figure out how he can make money until Broza, the local pot dealer, offers him and Z-boy a cross-country trip to deliver marijuana in Florida, a journey that involves a number of life-threatening situations. Reluctant readers will be hooked on this fast-paced, interesting adventure. Difficult and realistic choices face all of the characters, making the story one that teenagers can relate to. There is drinking, strong language, some drug use, and sex, so this is best suited to an older audience, but it is a definite buy.-Richard Winters, Wasco High School, CA

Kirkus Reviews
At the end of their senior year, three Southern California teenage surfers mark time while seeking the Perfect Monster Wave. Logan, Z-Boy and Fin, once known as the Three Musketeers, have drifted apart due to Fin's surfing stardom. Logan and Z-Boy simply hang loose and smoke weed. When Fin tragically drowns, Logan and Z-Boy are awash with grief. Needing quick cash, they fall back on what they know and are hired as drug mules to drive a car stuffed with pot from Los Angeles to Orlando. Fueled by junk food and Mountain Dew, the journey starts off cool, but their friendship unravels under the stress of performing a felony. Neri sandwiches his story between a crackling opening and a whipsaw climactic scene, but jumbled sideplots cause some sagging around the middle, in which the happy-go-lucky tone seems out of step with the serious situation. Still, older boys who say they've never read anything will be attracted to the novel's profanity, prodigious amounts of pot and friendship on the brink of disaster. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399250866
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/11/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

G. Neri is the author of the critically acclaimed Chess Rumble and lives in Tampa, Florida, with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Liz

    Yes duh..

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    To liz

    wait u know fine go i dont need u .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2009

    NOT JUST A GREAT READ, BUT A GREAT ADVENTURE

    Once you hit the road with Logan and Z-boy in SURF MULES, you'll need to hang on tight. You'll feel as if you're in the backseat of the car as they travel further and further into trouble - the kind of trouble that could land them in jail or worse yet dead.

    Neri's fast-paced plot and in-depth characters will capture the interest of even the most casual readers, making them unable to put SURF MULES down until the last page is turned.

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  • Posted July 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hang on for a Wild Ride!

    When I picked up SURF MULES by Greg Neri, I had trouble holding on. Surf Mules starts fast and keeps a pace that is astounding. By the end of the first chapter, there is a drug shakedown, a fist fight, and a death. Before moving on to chapter two, I came up for a gulp of air and said to the writing gods, "Boy, Greg really set the pace high for this one." But the truth is that Neri takes us for the ride of our lives and doesn't let go until the very last satisfying page.

    SURF MULES takes place during several weeks in the summer of two innocent (yet risk-loving) Hermosa Beach seniors, Logan and Z-Boy. Surfing is in their blood, but one thing leads to another and instead of riding the waves the boys find themselves riding cross country with a load of marijuana packed behind the panels of their Crown Victoria.

    I know nothing about surfing and even less about transporting drugs, but Neri brings us these worlds with a deftness that makes both feel as comfortable as Logan feels with them.

    Great boy to boy interaction, a lot of humor, oodles of action and a little romance will keep readers--teens and adults alike--gripped. So grab a tin of board wax and a Republican Handbook (you'll get that reference when you read the novel) and get a copy of SURF MULES.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 26, 2009

    A Road Trip that makes Waves

    From the first to the last enigmatic wave, G. Neri masterfully sweeps the reader into a twilight zone against the sea's ever-present rhythm. A panoply of surreal characters - surfers (and surf nazis), duplicitous drug dealers, under-cover agents, and barely coping parents come alive for three unforgettable days.

    One member of Logan Tom's surfing trio has just drowned in a wave. The surviving duo, Logan and Zboy, driver from L.A. to Orlando on a Faustian mission to deliver a car loaded with pot. Over-caffeinated and short on sleep, the two joke, bare their souls, and muddle through awkward situations. Author Neri rachets up the tension while keeping to a measured beat with spasms of honest witty dialogue. Logan, in a fit of doubt they'll make their deadline, leaves Zboy at the New Orleans Airport. At the next reststop, a stranger approaches him, confirming Logan's earlier suspicion they are being followed. Logan second-guesses his decision to go it alone and returns to the airport to pick up Zboy.

    The story's ominous finish begins in a lull before the killer wave curls over. The two friends think that by delivering the pot to the appointed receiver and collecting the payment on time their mission is finished. Zboy guards the loot in a motel room while Logan sees to their car's return to its owner. Amidst the euphoria building, reality happens to change everything. But who said true friendship can't trump the fires of Hell? Lone surfer standing, Logan has the goods and support of family and friends to take on the next wave. Readers will want to ride on with him.

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  • Posted July 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Surfs up!

    This book is like a great rollarcoaster. Read it almost in one shot. Feels like I saw a great movie: part roadtrip, part thriller, great characters and I never knew this world existed. Really cool, want to check out his other books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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