After a hurricane took the life of both his sister and his mother, Jim Beauregard now resides in a FEMA trailer with his aunt Mel. When Jim is fired after his arch-enemy sets him up and with FEMA placing The Straits under eviction, Jim's only hope is cards. Though participating in an illegal underground poker ring may be risky, Jim has no choice. Can one simple hand of Hold 'Em Texas get Jim enough money to survive eviction and even get Hollis Mulwray off his back for good? Or is there something more important at risk here?
The Straits was an Ace read, not to mention there was a Full House of spectacular characters. Not only was it an edgy story of a guy living in a hurricane-depressed neighborhood who also constantly gets a bad reputation; but the story of letting go of self-blame. (Oh, yeah and I always wondered what really happened to all those people who lost their homes and were supposedly helped by FEMA.)
The book's settings leaped right out of the pages and into your mind. Jim and other important character's backgrounds were easily told in just a few short chapters leaving plenty of room for the emotional side of the story. Even though Jim's situations were not always pleasant, the storyline was absorbing: the characters, the poker games, the local teen hangout, the mysterious trailer, and the best ending you could ever hope for. I knew Hollis would get what was coming to him sooner or later, but what did happen was the best play yet.
You know what I truly liked about this book? The Straits was written so smoothly, it was like watching an actual movie in your head-even down to the last little camera shot detail. Since the author is a graduate student in a film program at Colombia University, welp, maybe someday The Straits will really come to life.... on the big screen.
Overall The Straits was a brilliant emotional journey of letting go, and one heck of a poker game.
Big thank-you to Flux Publishing for sending me this book. Flux has an awesome pod-cast so be sure to check that out !
Pages: 226 Year Published: June 2009 Genre: Realistic/Contemporary, Tragedy, Drama
Age Group: YA, ages 14+ Content: Some language, drinking
Personally Enjoyed It: 4/5 Rating (based on content):