by Joe Gazzam


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Jason Holden has been on thin ice since his mother died. Capping off a burglary and bar fight with a brutal car wreck, the seventeen year old finds himself firmly on the wrong side of the law.

His behavior isn't winning him any points with his father, who happens to be the state governor. So when Governor Holden learns of a program for troubled youth, he jumps at the chance to deal with Jason's outbursts while cementing his position for being tough on crime.

The program is a radical exercise designed to frighten teens from a life of crime. It's called "Scared Straight," and takes them into the heart of Blackenbush Maximum Security Penitentiary.

Jason, along with a group of hardened juvenile delinquents, quickly comes face to face with some of the most extreme convicts the state has ever seen. But what's designed as an exercise becomes all too real as a prisoner take-over comes to fruition. Before long the entire penitentiary is under siege, surrounded by feds and overrun with violent lifers loose from their cells.

Jason, trapped in the middle of in the chaos, will have to trust in the most unlikely person- Karl Rix, a convict with his own body count. Between them, they just might find a way to save their skin and even a bit of redemption. But at what cost?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615848631
Publisher: ZOVA Books
Publication date: 10/11/2013
Pages: 266
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Joe Gazzam has been a professional screenwriter for over ten years, working on motion pictures such as: 21 JUMP STREET, SHADOW RUN, and the CLIFFHANGER and BARBARELLA reboots.

He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son. UNCAGED is his debut novel.

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Uncaged 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uncaged is an action-packed coming of age cautionary tale for teenage boys. The main character Jason is 17 years old, in troubled, grieving for his deceased dead mother, and estranged son of a governor. Afraid of the troubled path his son is taking, The Governor enlists Jason into an experimental program called Scared Straight. This program takes young men who are breaking the law, into a high security prison for an afternoon to let them get a glimpse of how crime does pay by seizing their freedom. What could go wrong does go wrong. But this is where and how and why Jason journeys from boyhood to manhood. Generally speaking, 16-year-old males would be the demographic for this novel since the main character is 17 years old. However, there is a lot of graphic violence in this novel, which makes sense seeing as how the story takes place in maximum-security prisons. This reader suggests parents use caution to allow a teenager younger than say, fourteen read Uncaged. Call me old fashion, but impressionable young minds are my concern. Having said that, the lessons Jason learns on his journey through the Scared Straight program meaningful and important lessons everyone. He learns the value of courage, integrity, morality, wise choices, perseverance, and loyalty. He learns what it means to live on the dark side, and that one choice can change the trajectory of his life forever. Gazzam sets up these lessons in the beginning of the novel, and pays them off in ways that make sense, and make for a satisfying thriller. For scared straight it is!
BookNutPow2 More than 1 year ago
Riveting from the first page to the last.  As someone who loves YA, I was completely burnt out on dystopia, vampires, all the usual fare.   Was looking for something fast, fun, grounded.  This just grabbed me from the beginning.  The characters was so well drawn.  I just loved it.