Scotty's Junction

Young Adult - General
319 Pages
Reviewed on 09/24/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Scotty's Junction by Andrew Arthur is an impressive YA coming-of-age novel. Centering on an artistic genius named Scotty Madaki, we are introduced to this teenager and his father in a New York park. Scotty's father, who he calls Pops, places a high value on education, culture, and thinking for yourself. Scotty isn't exactly a naive person, but he's innocent and inexperienced, very eager to learn and make a positive impact in the world, but isn't sure how. He misses his deceased mother. He wants to live up to his father's expectations. And he feels a bit like a fish out of water until he finds kindred spirits at his new school--fellow artists who understand him. He falls for a girl at the school, Magdalena (Mags), then he meets Duncan, and then Julien, Zen, and others. Scotty mingles with his diverse friends and learns what it means to try to find his place among them. Scotty is multi-talented and has a supportive father, but still searches for answers as most youths do. He wants to find himself and an artistic future that he can love. Then, suddenly, his world is rocked when Mags goes missing, and later something unexpected happens with Duncan.

I wasn't expecting the story to turn dark and psychological, but am glad it did, as it adds depth, realism, and mystery to Scotty's story. So, don't be misled by the seemingly innocent first half of the novel. This is the kind of YA novel that is entertaining, yet at the same time makes you think, and is full of heart, wisdom, and irony. As you read, you will be drawn to Scotty's character, his odyssey, his desire to fit in and excel, his questions, his talents, and his situations. The author does an excellent job of building suspense and carrying out the plot. Other themes that are dealt with include race, immigration, bullying, and grief. At times you will applaud Scotty; other times you will ache for him. For a fresh, original, YA novel, Scotty's Junction by Andrew Arthur is one you don't want to pass up.