by: Evelyn Newman for South
Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2005
Vince Lucaís life is a mess.
His dad, who happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization, constantly
bugs him to get motivated, his best friend Alex is insanely jealous about
his new girlfriend, Kendra, and Kendraís father just happens to be the
FBI agent who wants to put his father away for good. All Vince wants
is a normal life. What should he do? Howís he gong to tell
his Dad he doesn't want to be part of the mob? Should he throw away
his lifelong friendship with Alex just for a girl? What about Kendra,
his first love? Should he break up with her because her dad is in
the FBI? Read this humorous, plot-twisting book to see how much more
complicated life can be when you are a Son of the Mob. (Joanne Suzara,
SLIS graduate student University of South Carolina)
just say that you are Vince Luca, 17, Italian, and you have a girl in your
car, on the beach, in the moonlight. Itís beautiful clear night. You know
there is a blanket in the trunk of your car. Itís your big chance with
a girl. Major make-out possibilities. Then you open the trunk, and there
it is - wrapped around a dead body. Your Italian father, is of course,
the mob boss. Nice car (it IS a Porsche), dead body. Your girlfriend has
trouble keeping down the screams. All is not lost however, Vince meets
Kendra, a really great girl with only one drawback- HER father is the FBI
agent in charge of getting the goods on Vinceís father. This story pulls
you back into some really hilarious scenes (what, you donít think the dead
body in the trunk that sends your girlfriend into screaming fits isnít
funny?) Try seeing Vince when he realizes his older brother is using his
web page as a bookie scheme. Then switch to some serious scenes: ¬
Vince feels sorry for one of his fatherís underlings, and loans him money
to keep the mob off his back.- switch to funny- Vinceís mother constantly
cooking for 15 who show up for breakfast, begging people to eat- ok a little
stereotyped, but thatís what youíll find- funny, serious, funny, with great
dialog that will keep you into the novel rooting for the mob. Or at least
the Son of the Mob.
Mary Jo Heller of Shoreline Schools for Evergreen
Young Adult Book Award
Vince Luca is just like any
other high school guy. Mostly. Somehow he doubts that when his classmates
open their car trunks to get a blanket out for their date to sit on, THEY
find a beat-up guy trussed like a pork roast. This is what happens when
your father is in ďthe vend- ing machine businessĒ, i.e., heís a mob boss.
Vince wants nothing to do with his fatherís business, unlike his older
brother, who bagged school after 12th grade to go into the family biz.
But he feels bad for the guy in the trunk, and in trying to help him, gets
sucked into Dadís stuff. To make things worse, just when Vince finds a
girl he thinks is really great, it turns out that her father is the FBI
agent whoís had Vinceís house bugged for years and is trying to take his
father down. Romeo and Juliette had nothing to complain about. Itís a funny,
light read, but includes questions like ďWhoís good, whoís bad, what is
betrayal, and does it matter whether the one betrayed is bad or not?Ē
Cindy Claypool of King County Library System for Evergreen
Young Adult Book Award
Growing up, Vince Luca has
his suspicions about his father's business and his mysterious "uncles"
who come and go at his house during all hours of the day. One day,
his brother Tommy confirms those suspicions when he confesses that, "Dad's
mobbed up." Their house is always bugged, the FBI listening in on all conversations.
Of course, there are some good points to being the son of a mob boss.
Vince's friend Alex is quick to remind Vince of these, "Don't you ever
watch Mafia movies? Do you have any idea the kind of chicks these
guys get? I defy you to show me one gangster with an ugly girlfriend."
But, Vince is determined to steer clear of a life of crime and avoid induction
into the mob, unlike his brother. His teachers, his mother and his
father are all pressuring Vince to "get motivated". Then he meets
Kendra Bightly who is the one thing about high school and life in general
that does interest Vince. Only, she's the daughter of an FBI agent,
the very agent assigned to investigate Vince's family. Vince and
Kendra start dating and he successfully avoids her FBI dad. Then,
Vince does get sucked into the family business, and his relationship with
Kendra is betrayed by the one family "employee" he took for a friend.
Not only does he lose Kendra, but he discovers some very disturbing information
about those closest to him. Find out how Vince extracts himself from
the family business, stays true to his pledge to avoid a life of crime,
and gets his girl back. (Cerese Long, firstname.lastname@example.org,
White Knoll Middle School)