Great Reads for Teens and Tweens!

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Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

on February 6, 2012

 Title: Son of the Mob

 Author: Gordon Korman

 Publisher: Hyperion  Year: 2004

 ISBN-13: 978-0786815937

 Genre: Fiction

 Age: 12 and up

Awards: American Library Association 2003 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults Annotated List – Book 2001 Son of the Mob

Themes / Subjects: humor, mystery/detective, family life, social situations

Plot Summary:

17-year-old Vince Luca just wants to be your normal high school student and lead a normal life. He spends his time chasing girls, playing on the football team and hanging out with his best friend Alex. But there is absolutely nothing normal about his family. His father happens to be THE mob boss running the “vending machine business” in New York and Vince’s “uncles,” brother, and dad expect him to join the family business. Vince on the other hand wants nothing to do with it. Instead he rebels and attempts to escape his family’s image and reputation. However, nothing goes as Vince plans and to make matters worse he’s fallen for the one girl whose father could take down the whole Luca family and business.

My Take:

This was my first time reading anything by Gordon Korman and I am hooked! This book is not your typical kill/torture mafia story but rather less talk more action, page turning suspense and just a hint of romance.  Korman does a phenomenal job describing and bringing to life the internal and external struggles Vince Luca experiences as a result of being a “mob prince” and a senior in high school. Torn between loyalty to his family and the desire to be a good, normal kid, Vince is going to have to make some rather gutsy decisions that are going to impact everyone around him.

There are some references to drugs and sex but they do not play a major role in the book. Violence is a big part of the mafia life, aka “vending machine business”, but it is important to note that Vince does everything in his power to avoid violence being used. I think his lack of threats and weapons is what makes him such a powerful and relatable character. Plus, it is very interesting to read about falling in love from a guy’s perspective without it ruining the pace of the story.

This book is a great way to open up a discussion with younger readers regarding morals and values because of the questionable acts of the Luca family and the ways in which Vince handles them.

And just because I love the way they describe it, from Publishers Weekly … “The Sopranos (minus the vulgarity and violence) meets Leave It to Beaver (minus the “aw-shucks” tone and dated sensibility) in Korman’s (No More Dead Dogs) brassy, comical caper. With its razor-sharp dialogue and bullet-fast pace, this tale could fly on either the small or big screen, yet it makes a page-turner of a novel.”

Rating: 5/5 stars … This book is a must read if you like action, suspense and a little romance. Or if you happen to find random bodies in the back of your car and suspect your parents to be in the “vending machine business.”

Similar read: Breaking Point by Alex Flinn

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5 responses to “Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

  1. Hi! I’m Ashleigh from your class! I absolutely love this book! I read this a couple of years ago! 😀

  2. mlischris says:

    Hi Ashleigh! This was my first Gordon Korman book and I too fell in love! I really like his writing style and think he is an excellent author to recommend to boys or even reluctant readers.

  3. I truly enjoy reading through on this web site , it has got fantastic content . “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” by Lord Kelvin.

  4. I absolutely love Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman! I’m actually a huge Gordon Korman fan, although I’m past the age most of his books are meant to be read at. Oh well, they’re usually funny, yet have a deeper meaning and deal with issues teens and others face. Great review!

    • mlischris says:

      Thank you! Sometimes I feel like a dweeb because people will ask me to recommend a book yet all I ever have on my brain are YA books. As for Gordon Korman, I really love his writing style. I was doing a search on him the other day and never realized just how much he has written. I guess it is going to be a busy summer!

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