Review of Mr. 60% by Clete Barrett Smoth

  • Title: Mr. 60%
  • Author: Clete Barrett Smith
  • Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2017
  • Pages: 192
  • Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Matt Nolan is the high school drug dealer, deadbeat, and soon-to-be dropout according to everyone at his school. His vice principal is counting down the days until Mr. 60% (aka Matt) finally flunks out and is no longer his problem. What no one knows is the only reason Matt sells drugs is to take care of his uncle Jack, who is dying of cancer.

Meet Amanda. The overly cheerful social outcast whose optimism makes Matt want to hurl. Stuck as partners during an after-school club (mandatory for Matt), it’s only a matter of time until Amanda discovers Matt’s secret. But Amanda is used to dealing with heartbreak, and she’s determined to help Matt find a way to give life 100 percent.

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ARC of Mr. 60% provided through NetGalley for an honest review.

First starting this book I was immediately put off. The writing felt as if it was lacking a lot of emotion and I felt like I was being told Matt’s actions rather than his deep down feelings. That being said, I’m glad I read the whole book.

Matt was a moody, surly, sarcastic teenage boy. Unlike most teenage boys he was also the sole care provider for his Uncle Jack. He deals drugs to his class mates with the goal of being able to financially support the two of them. His whole life is so sad, and though I didn’t feel like I got as many details about his feelings as I wanted, my heart still managed to break for him. The poor guy had the whole world on his shoulders, but he stayed as tough as nails. Even when the school vice principal was acting like an over grown child, Matt didn’t let it affect him.

In comes Amanda. She’s an outcast with an over whelming sunny disposition. I really loved her spirit and her fight. Even if someone, Matt, was acting like an ass to her, she still held her ground. No matter what she was going to do what she felt was right. Good for you Amanda!

As I mentioned above I’m surprised how much I liked this book in the end. I felt the beginning was so emotionless but as I read it got better. I’m not entirely sure if that’s because the writing style changed or because you just can’t help but feel for Matt and his situation. Either way, the concept, story, plot, and overwhelming situation that Matt pushed through made this book really great. If you don’t mind a bit of a sad read then you should give Mr. 60% a try.