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Son of the Mob

Son of the Mob

4.4 141
by Gordon Korman, Gordon Karman

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A reluctant Mafia prince . . .
Vince Luca is just like any other high school guy. His best friend, Alex, is trying to score vicariously through him; his brother is a giant pain; and his father keeps bugging him to get motivated. There is just one thing that really sets him apart for other kids - his father happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization.


A reluctant Mafia prince . . .
Vince Luca is just like any other high school guy. His best friend, Alex, is trying to score vicariously through him; his brother is a giant pain; and his father keeps bugging him to get motivated. There is just one thing that really sets him apart for other kids - his father happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization.

Needless to say, while Vince's family's connections can be handy for certain things (like when teachers are afraid to give him a bad grade), they can put a serious crimp in his dating life. Who wants to explain to your girlfriend what your father does for a living? But when Vince meets a girl who finally seems to be worth the trouble, her family turns out to be the biggest problem of all. Because her father is an FBI agent - the one who has been watching Vince's family for years, and who wants to put his father away for good.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Sopranos (minus the vulgarity and violence) meets Leave It to Beaver (minus the "aw-shucks" tone and dated sensibility) in Korman's (No More Dead Dogs) brassy, comical caper. With its razor-sharp dialogue and bullet-fast pace, this tale could fly on either the small or big screen, yet it makes a page-turner of a novel. Korman shapes a believable and likable crew-despite the less than reputable profession of some. Many of the novel's conflicts revolve around the fact that the affable narrator, 17-year-old Vince Luca, refuses to become involved in the family "vending machine business." But of course, since his father is the Mob boss, and his older brother serves as their father's loser lackey, Vince cannot avoid being tainted (e.g., he lands in jail "because my sixteenth-birthday present [a Porsche] turns out to be hot"). Mom turns a deaf ear to the shady goings-on, cooking up a steady storm in the kitchen and willing "to serve a sit-down dinner for fifteen guys at four in the morning with ten minutes advance notice." Things heat up when Vince begins dating-and eventually falls in love with-the daughter of the FBI agent determined to bring down Vince's father. The boy also gets sucked into the maelstrom when he loans money to one of his father's underlings for whom he feels sorry. Funny and unexpectedly affecting, this will grab-and hold onto-even the most reluctant of readers. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Vince Luca is a recognizable modern teenager-fast-talking, unmotivated, and down on what his father does for a living. When one's dad is the leader of organized crime in New York, living an independent life is a challenge. Although Vince is determined to stay completely separate from the family business, it somehow interferes with every aspect of his senior year, from playing football to homework projects. When Vince falls for Kendra, the daughter of the FBI agent gathering evidence against his father, their relationship seems doomed from the start. Several questions keep the reader hooked. Will Kendra find out why Vince avoids meeting her parents? Will their parents catch them together? What happens if her father succeeds? Is there an FBI mole in the Luca operations? Who ordered the shooting of Mr. Luca's rival? What makes the story work is the hip, young voice of the protagonist. Vince is well aware of the absurdity of his situation and has a wonderfully dry sense of humor. His genuine struggle to find his own way in the face of family influences is appealing and grounds the story. Although this book will be most popular with the junior high crowd, older students who appreciate humorous writing will enjoy the clever twist on a Romeo-and-Juliet relationship. The popularity of HBO's The Sopranos should also serve to increase its audience. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Hyperion/Disney, 272p,
— Angela Carstensen
To quote from the review of the audiobook in KLIATT, March 2003: And you think you've got problems? Vince Luca is just an ordinary horny high school guy looking to score with chicks. But when he gets a willing girl as far as the beach, Vince opens the trunk of his car to find not a blanket but the beaten-up body of Jimmy the Rat. This dampens the romantic urge. He takes the girl home and lets Jimmy out of the trunk, advising him to avoid Vince's brother Tommy in the future. See, Tommy is in the family business with "Honest Abe" Luca, one of the biggest mob bosses in the East. Vince hates the whole idea of a life of crime with his "uncles"—Uncle NoNose, Uncle Puke, Uncle Shank. You get the idea. And what is worse, when Vince does meet the perfect girl, she is the daughter of the FBI man who has the Luca house bugged. So Vince has problems: how to keep the girl he loves and keep his dad out of federal prison—and how to keep himself out of the mob. Korman's deft handling of the story line is professional; it should be after more than 30 novels for YAs. The pace is fast, the dialog sassy, and Vince is a winner. KLIATT Codes: S*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students. 2002, Hyperion, 262p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Janet Julian
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Vince Luca, 17, has always been concerned, embarrassed, and fearful about his crime-family background, though he has sworn never to become involved or to let it keep him from upstanding behavior. During his senior year, all he wants is romance, friendship, and to get through school, just like any normal guy, but things don't go as planned. His new girlfriend turns out to be the daughter of the FBI agent who is bugging his house; his older brother has figured out how to use his New Media class Web-page project for a bookmaking scheme; and he decides to save two lowlifes who owe big bucks to his father from the pains of mob revenge. The novel's quick pace and Korman's recognizable, upbeat style balance the contrived and predictable elements that infiltrate the story. Vince is a believable character; there are moments when he realizes that his name gives him power and he has to remind himself that he has chosen a different path. Susan Beth Pfeffer's Most Precious Blood (Bantam, 1991; o.p.) deals with a teenage girl whose father belongs to a crime family, but it is more serious. Readers who perceive the frightening meaning of organized-crime activity will best appreciate the tension and edgy humor that permeate this book, and will cheer when Vince finally stands up to his father.-Diane P. Tuccillo, City of Mesa Library, AZ
Kirkus Reviews
As if life as a high-school senior isn't hard enough, what with sports, SATs, college applications, and girls (or rather, the lack thereof), Vince Luca has to cope with the special complications of his father's involvement in the vending-machine business-the family euphemism for organized crime. Case in point: Vince gets a date with the oh-so-hot Angela O'Bannon, but when he goes to get a make-out blanket from the trunk, he discovers the unconscious body of Jimmy the Rat, who's just been worked over by his older brother. Poor Vince: his family just keeps getting in his way. After the debacle with Angela, Vince begins a real romance with the cute and spunky daughter of the FBI agent who has been assigned to bring the Lucas down; the bugs he has planted in the house force all vending-machine business-and heart-to-heart parent-son conversations-into the basement. Korman (No More Dead Dogs, 2000, etc.) can reliably be counted on to deliver a hilarious story; he delivers in spades here, as Vince desperately tries to hold out as the only legitimate member of the family while at the same time inadvertently getting himself deeper and deeper in the family business when he tries to get Jimmy the Rat off the hook. Maintaining the balance between situational humor and the real violence and ugliness of organized crime is no easy matter, but Korman pulls it off in fine manner, managing to create genuinely sympathetic characters in Vince's family-people who love him and want the best for him, but who can at the same time call out a hit on someone as casually as ordering a pizza. Laced with running gags-the hijacking of Vince's class-project Web site by his brother is priceless-here's a laugh-out-loudaddition to the ranks of dreary teen fiction. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.12(h) x 1.00(d)
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Gordon Korman is one of the most popular young adult and middle grade authors writing today. He published his first book at the young age of fourteen and has been going strong ever since. A tireless self-promoter, Gordon is constantly traveling across the country to visit different schools. He and his wife, a teacher, live on Long Island with their three children.

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Son of the Mob (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 141 reviews.
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
I rate this book 3 stars out of 5 because it was good but at some parts it was confusing. The book is about a 17 year old boy Vince who discovers secrets about his own family throughout the book. He never knew about his dad's business until one day, he found out his dad is the mob boss he doesn't actually repair vending machines. He is determined to live a normal life his dad's job won't stop him or at least he thinks it won't. Vince tries hard to stay away from his family's job. He tries to do normal things like play sports, have friends, and go to school, but since his dad is so powerful he is well known around the school. Vince tries football but he quits because the kids are afraid of him all because of his dad being a mob boss. He finds a girlfriend who he thinks he can trust named Kendra Bightly. It turns out her dad is the FBI agent that wants to put Vince's father in jail. I recommend this book for more of the older kids because there is a lot of romance in this book. Like at the college party when he meets Kendra. This is also a good book for people who are interested in action-filled books because most of the book is filled with action like the part where Vince is fleeing from Kendra's house away from her parents. Anyway this book is really good. Read it to find out what happens next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I teach middle school and try to read books that my students will be reading in their English classes so I can discuss the books with them. I really enjoyed this Son of the Mob and looking forward to the sequel.
Elijah_Kelsey More than 1 year ago
This review is over the book Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman. It is a story about the son of the Mob king in Long Island, New York. But, he wants nothing to do with his business. He sees wrong in his dad’s line of work, and half wants to help him change, and the other half wants to have nothing to do with him. This story shows the importance of values and sticking to your beliefs. In the first scene, Vince is on a date with a girl he is crazy about. He takes her to the beach after dinner, and, due to the sea breeze, needs to get them a blanket. He opens the trunk, and to his surprise, sees an unconscious man wrapped in the blanket. Scenes like these are seen throughout the novel, and all in all, keeps you waiting for the next surprise. Later in the story, Vince starts to date Kendra Bightly. She is a reporter for the school newspaper, and they met because they both got head lice. But, what Vince doesn’t know is that she is the daughter of the FBI agent that is trying to take down his father, the same one who has their house bugged, so Kendra can’t speak in his house. Its twists like these that keep the book exciting, and lead up to the twist ending. Overall, this is a quick read, and Korman does an excellent job of keeping you interested, while there may be a lack of action in some parts throughout the book. Korman definitely hit the spot on the odd storyline, and while the plot is intriguing, he certainly takes his sweet time telling the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction, and to people who just enjoy an easy read. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Randy2121 More than 1 year ago
I would rate this book 4 stars out of 5. Throughout the book, it was very exciting and suspenseful, but there were also a couple parts in the story that didn't make sense to me. The story follows a high school boy, Vince, who struggles at home because his dad is the head of a powerful crime organization. He tries to be as normal as possible by playing football and going to parties. He ends up finding a girlfriend, Kendra Bightly. He trusts her and she trusts him. Then, Vince finds out the her father is in the FBI. The book mostly shows how Vince deals with his relationship with Kendra. I thought it was a very enjoyable book to read despite the confusing parts in the book. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a mob story with a little bit of romance.
poplitreview More than 1 year ago
The book Son of the Mob was a great book. Readers who are looking for an exiting adventure should read this book. It’s about a high school student named Vince Luca who is trying to live a normal life, play sports, and date. But there is one problem, his dad happens to be the head of the mob. His dad Anthony “honest Abe” Luca is wanted by an FBI agent for loan sharking and other murder charges. Vince has a best friend Alex, who thinks he can get girls through his best friend. Vince tried playing sports but kids were scared of hitting him because of his dad. He also tries dating but that goes bad when a girl finds a body in his car’s trunk. Vince finally meets a girl he really started liking at a college party when they share their first kiss. Another problem occurs not just because his dad is the head mob, but because the girl he starts dating, Kendra, happens to be the daughter of an FBI agent that is trying to put his dad in jail for the past five years. Vince tries to play it off and not tell Kendra about her father. Will Kendra find out? Will her father find out? Will Vince’s dad find out? Will Vince get involved in his dad business? You are going to have to read this amazing exciting book. This book really got me to actually change my mind that not all books are boring all thanks to my high school senior pop literature teacher. And I am looking forward to reading the Son of the Mob 2. Is as good as the first one which was a cliff hanger.
Papa_Lit More than 1 year ago
For those of you that enjoy mafia drama, I highly encourage you to read Son of the Mob. Instead of the typical blood baths seen in movies such as the Godfather, this book places the perspective on the son of a Mob boss, Vince Luca. Through his eyes, you can see that being a "mob prince" isn't as simple or luxurious as one may assume. Vince faces both internal and external struggles as a result of his family's "vending machine business" and to make matters worse, it's all during his senior year of high school. He's got to make some pretty gutsy decisions to attempt to restore some kind of order in his hectic life, decisions that could potentially position him in serious danger. I felt a strong connection to Vince while reading the story (most likely due to the fact that I am also a senior in high school) and truly felt like I had shared his experiences. I enjoyed the fast-pace and to-the-point writing style that Gordon Korman provides for the audience. With any good mob story, there's little talk and lots of action. I would definitely be interested in reading more novels by Gordon Korman because I enjoyed Son of the Mob and would expect the same level of satisfaction from Korman's other literature.
DeanS More than 1 year ago
The Son of the Mob is a perfect book for passing the time. It is fast paced with lots of action and romance with an almost Romeo and Juliet theme. It's not an elegantly written book but it will keep you looking forward to reading to yourself at the end of the day. Written from the boy's point of view, the rising conflict surrounds his role as a son of a Mafia leader who falls in love with the daughter of an F.B.I. agent. I recommend this book primarily for middle school kids because, while it is entertaining, it wouldn't keep adults or high school students interested. Being a book about a boy exposed to organized crime, there are some references to drugs and sex, but these are small references and do not play a big role in the book. Nor do any of the main characters partake in questionable conduct. Nevertheless it is not a book for elementary school children.
Raj_Gandhi More than 1 year ago
Ever wondered what would happen if a Mafia "prince" dated the FBI's "princess"? Son of the Mob gives an answer to the exact question. The story begins with a seventeen year old, Vince Luca getting ready for a date with the popular Angela O'Bannon on a beautiful beach of New York City. Everything runs smoothly, well until Angela discovers a body stuffed in the trunk of Vince's Mazda. She dumps him due to the shock, thus ending another chapter of struggles in the life of Vince Luca. Vince Luca is a teenager that attends high school and crushes on girls just like any other guy, but there is something that sets him apart from the others; he is the son of the mob "king", Anthony "Honest Abe" Luca. Because of this teachers are afraid to give him bad grades, football players are even afraid to touch him, and his dating life always ends in a tragedy. Vince hates all this special treatment as much as he hates his dad's business. Ever since he was a little boy, he always thought that his father had been working as a "vending machine fixer", but one night Vince found out the truth about his dad's business and of all the gifts he brought home. Crushed by the shocking news, he loses his motivation in life. This is particularly the reason why father the father always bugs Vince about getting into his business. Vince is a reluctant mafia prince who doesn't want to have anything to do with his father's crimes, and the complete opposite of his brother, Tommy who has only the mob business to live for. Personally, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who looks for fast paced stories. The plot kept me interested throughout the whole book and even made laugh at some points of the passage. Also, I would also read "Son of the Mob 2" because in my opinion the ending in Son of the Mob was a cliffhanger.
MountainView More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book because it changes what Vince (the main character) is doing very frequently. I also liked this book because it brought in new characters throughout the whole book. Vince Luca just wants to be a regular kid without knowing his dad is a big time mob boss. Vince's whole family is in on the job but Vince doesn't want any thing to do with it. At the beginning of the book Vince and his best friend Alex are single in high school. When Vince first joins the football team he though it would be a good way to impress girls. But when he plays in his first game no one will touch him when he runs the ball because the other players think if they touch him that his dad will hurt them. He was so angry he quit. After the game a school reporter named Kendra Bightly, which who is his future girlfriend, interviewed him. Kendra's dad is a F.B.I. agent who is trying real hard to put Vince's dad in prison. Later on he gets tangled up with 2 guys who owe his dad money so Vince helps them out. I'd recommend this book to someone who doesn't mind reading a lot of pages so things can be explained. I wouldn't recommend this book to people who don't like when books jump to different subjects often.
KarateGirl121 More than 1 year ago
I believe that Son of the Mob is a book for thirteen to eighteen-year-olds. Because of the language that the characters use and the scenarios that are depicted, nine-year-olds and ten-year-olds would not understand what is happening in the book. Gordon Korman uses words like atmospheric, formaldehyde, schmoozed, and vindicated. Most nine and ten-year-olds would not even know those words. Children that age have not even heard about the mafia. I think that thirteen-year-old boys and girls would like the book. Teens can relate to some scenarios in the book and that helps them understand what is happening. If the people who read it understand it, then they will most likely enjoy the book. The book Son of the Mob is set in New York State. Vince Luca, 17, and his family live in a small town just outside of New York City. Normally sons want to own their dad's business someday. Vince wants nothing to do with his dad's job. Vince's dad just so happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization, otherwise known as the Mafia. Vince is nothing like his dad. He is quiet, and has no social life except for hanging out with his friend Alex. Until of course, he meets and starts dating Kendra Bightly. Kendra is a reporter for the school paper. The only problem is that her dad, also known as Agent Bite-Me, is an agent of the FBI. Agent Bite-Me has been trying to put Vince's dad, Anthony Luca, in jail for the past five years. Son of the Mob was written by Gordon Korman. It is similar and different from the book, Walk Two Moons that was written by Sharon Creech. These books are alike because they have characters that have suspicions about each other. In Walk Two Moons, Phoebe thinks that Margaret Cadaver, her neighbor, is a murderer. In this case of suspicions, Phoebe was wrong. In Son of the Mob, Agent Bite-Me believes that Anthony Luca is the head of the Mafia. But, In this case Agent Bite-Me is correct. These two books are different because Walk Two Moons is set in Euclid, Ohio but Son of the Mob is set in New York. Also in Walk Two Moons, the main character is a girl, and the author is a woman. But, in Son of the Mob, the main character is a boy and the author is a man. I really liked the book Son of the Mob because it had action, comedy, and romance, three genres of books that I love, all squeezed into one book. A hilarious part was when Vince's mom was mad at Angelo, who works for Vince's dad. Angelo was being mean to Vince's older brother Tommy. She asked Angelo to help her in the kitchen and then she shoved Angelo's hand right into the chicken potpie. The chicken potpie went into the trash and Angelo walked around with a first-degree burn for six weeks.
MBrown09 More than 1 year ago
I am a very avid reader and I have read many books and this just happens to be one of the best books that I have ever read. This book about a high school kid named Vincent Luca. Vince's father is the biggest mob boss in New York City; Vince has never really been happy about this sometimes he got special treatment but other times he got in trouble wrongfully, but he always knew that the family business was not for him. He has a best friend named Alex who believes they share a love life. Sadly though they don't really have one. Finally when Vince gets a date his father's business ruined it. One day Vince meets the girl of his dreams one that he is willing to risk everything for but he realizes that he just might have to risk everything for this girl, because her father is the FBI agent that is trying to put his father away good. After awhile Vince somehow gets mixed up in his father's business. Is this going to kill his love life again?
cm486 More than 1 year ago
Son of the mob is a realistic book with a little bit of fiction Vince Luca the main character is going through problems with his family because his fathe is the head of a powerful crime organization.Vince wants no part of what his father does for a living he doesnt approve of what his father does for a living.The problem comes when he tells a girl named Kendra what his father does for a living it turned out her father is the FBI agent that wants to put Vince's father in jail for good.I would recommend this book to one of my friends,the things that I enjoyed about book were that it had an interesting story and an interesting conflict while I was reading this bookand it had a good story.The next book I would like to read from this author would be the sequal to this book Son of the mob Hollywood Hustle. I really enjoyed this book it had suspense in it and it made me want to read more of it and not put it down.This book can sometimes be romantic with Vince and his girlfriend Kendra,this book had some humor in it which made me laugh once in a while when I was reading this book.This book is full of love,action,and humor.I would recommend this book for older readers instead of younger readers because in some parts of the book there is swearing in the dialouge and some sexual infrences.This is a excellent book and im glad I chose to read it for the summer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Son of the Mob, by Gordon Korman, General Fiction. Seventeen year old Vince Luca is just like any other ordinary high school guy. His best friend is obsessed with his love life, his brother is a giant pain, and his father keeps bugging him to get involved. There is just one thing that really sets him apart for other kids, his father happens to be a mob boss.Vince has a crappy dating live because of his dad's business, but when finally meets one who seems to be worth the trouble, her family turns out to be the biggest problem of all. Because her father is an FBI agent,the one who wants to put his father away for good. I really enjoyed the creative plot and humor, but the romance quickly took over and became just as good as any other book. I chose this book because it seemed interesting and while reading the back of the book, I got interested by the plot of the story.
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this book was so good i loved every page of it.There alot of suprises and secerts that vince uncovers.READ IT!!!!
Black_Angel22 More than 1 year ago
This books makes you want to find a mob member and date him. It's so different from the regular "in" fictions right now. I liked it because its kinda similar to the mangas with Yakuza and Korean MangA with Gangs in there. It is a really good read! :)
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