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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Punks by Daniel Martin is an urban coming-of-age story that chronicles the lives and adventures of the main protagonist Pete Wilson and his newfound friend Dwight Morton. The book is written in the first person with the story told in a way that feels almost like a recorded, one-way conversation with outtake clips from Pete's own reality TV series. Pete and Morton quite literally cruise through life via a string of situations and circumstances that initially show an extreme degree of luck for the two. The pair picks up a hitchhiker on a road trip who turns out to be rather adept at check fraud, treating Pete and Morton to the high life by splashing out on fine food and luxury hotels. As the story progresses, Pete and Morton have multiple run-ins with law enforcement, their luck running out when their drug dealing lands them in prison.
Punks is an easy book to get into, and Daniel Martin does an amazing job at delivering a story that never loses pace and is really difficult to put down. The narrative will likely shock those who aren't accustomed to a stream of consciousness format and is frequently rambling, without a care in the world for punctuation or lengthy and overtly loquacious run-on sentences. I can see many readers clutching their pearls, but the format does actually work for readers who are open-minded enough to just go with it. Pete is a poorly educated young man of dubious origin, and the abrasiveness of his first-person narrative is perfect for conveying grit and crassness, while still allowing his street smarts to poke through where any formal education would not. I enjoyed Punks immensely and believe it will resonate well with readers who liked books such as Crank by Ellen Hopkins and A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.