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Posted July 26, 2013
A young adult novel about dealing with addiction in his family and friends.
“The Dragon in Me” is a new young adult novel by Jeff Morris. Rob’s mother is an alcoholic. Not only is she slowly destroying her own life, she is taking down everyone with her as she goes. Rob has one escape, his martial arts. His mother isn’t the only dysfunctional one in the family; Rob has turned off his emotions and feelings off to deal with his childhood.
The character development wasn’t bad. I liked Rob and his family and friends. Each has different qualities and personalities. While it was set in the 70s, I still had a hard time believing a teenage boy would think and behave quite like Rob does.
The message in this book is a good one. It discusses the blame, guilt, and suffering dealing with someone close to you who suffers from addiction. Having said that, I found the message to be very repetitive, even down to different characters using the exact same phrasing. In the end, I felt a little like the overall message was being forced upon me. I would have appreciated it to be a little subtler.
Overall the book is an easy, straight forward, and fast read. The message is definitely a good one for anyone touched by addiction, even remotely. I do think the way it is explained is a little to clichéd to have young adults really connect with. The martial arts was a nice addition, especially for those who have an interest in it.
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. This in no way influenced my review. I was not required to, nor compensated for, writing a review.