Saturday, March 22, 2014

Busted Out by Marjorie DeLuca

Although this is a book for young adults and not a genre I normally read, I immediately fell under the spell of this story of a group of senior high school kids who lost control over their destiny during their final school year. Within a short period of a few months, an unexpected, dangerous reality was taking over their dreams and aspirations in ways they could not have seen coming.

Kim, Katie, Nick, Jay and Mike hardly knew each other in classes. Each one of them harbored family situations which they all tried to hide in their different ways. What the outside world saw was confident young people making good grades over all. Some were regarded as arrogant party animals, and others were like wallflowers adorning the classrooms in their quiet, shadowy ways. But they all got away with the front they presented to the world, until they discovered the common goal and acted upon it with traumatic results.

All of them had one talent and that was for maths. Some were brilliant and others mediocre, but all of them found a way of using it for purposes other than academic achievements. The common goal was money.

Between them the young people represented the results of abusive parents, driven by drug- and/or alcohol addiction, divorce, neglect, insecurity, and relationship failures, so typical of the modern collective psyche of our society, which confronts the children of the failed generations. Hope and enthusiasm were all they had to negotiate a way out of it all for themselves. And they made it! But not before someone was dead and all of them injured in some or other form.

This is a fast-moving, suspenseful drama, keeping the reader riveted to the story from beginning to end. It highlights all aspects of parenting and responsibilities towards the children and how the parents' actions impact on the lives of the youngsters. On another level it educates a young generation on the consequences of choices they make themselves and the ripple effect it has on all the people around them. without being preachy. In fact, it is done masterfully. It is an emotionally-driven tale that captures the reader in every way possible. The author has the ability to read the reader's mind and emotions. She utilizes her skill of in-depth observation of human interaction to pull this story off successfully. I was sad when it ended. A brilliant novel. Although I did not identify with any of the characters, I loved them all and did not want them to go. But I walk away with a feeling of hope and happiness. I know they've got what it takes and will make it.

The Oak Park High School student film, All In produced by film maker, James McLellan, is based on this novel.

Anyone, of all ages, can read it. It is worth the time.



On her morning run, seventeen year old Katie discovers a frozen body lying on the snowy forest trail. The story goes back three months to trace the events leading up to the tragedy. Who is the victim? Is it Mike, the import car fanatic who worships his older brother, Frankie, a hotshot graduate who's gone East and developed big spending habits fuelled by poker winnings? Is it Jay - the budding musician whose father wants him to be an NHL player even though he hates hockey? Is it Kim, the math whiz and talented artist whose mother recently died and left her alone with a cold and abusive father? Is it Nick? Forced to be a parent to his two young sisters while his single mom goes off for days at a time and drowns herself in booze . Gambling changes their lives until events spiral out of control and in the final showdown one of them will find love, one will be a hero, one will be the victim of a near-fatal accident and somebody will die on the snowy forest track. Set in a Canadian prairie city, this story explores the complexity of family conflict and its impact on teens who are searching for love, acceptance and identity.



Marjorie DeLuca spent her childhood in the ancient cathedral city of Durham in North-Eastern England. She attended the University of London, became a teacher, and then immigrated to Canada where she lives with her husband, two children and a crazy dog named Bella. There she also studied writing under her mentor, Pulitzer Prize winning author, Carol Shields. Though she loves writing sci-fi for teens, she’s also just completed two historical novels due out in the next few months

Visit the author's website:

Genres: C
anadian-authors, community, drama, suspense, teenage idenity, family, relationships,  Marjorie DeLuca

Formats: Paperback | Kindle
Number of pages: 212 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publishing Date: December 11, 2013
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1493625179
ISBN-13: 978-1493625178


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