Goodreads ~ Despite having a depressed alcoholic mother and a little brother who's convinced he's a dog, fifteen year-old Laurence Roach is trying to live a normal life. But when his mom doesn't come home after work one night, Laurence is terrified that child services will find out she's gone and separate him from his brother.
Laurence and his five-year-old brother, Jay, live in poverty. When child services comes close to taking them away from their mom, his mom always takes them off in the middle of the night. She is currently working two jobs (in a fast food restaurant and cleaning offices) to pay the bills ... when she is sober enough to go. They live in a messy apartment that is overrun by cockroaches. Their neighbour, Nosy Nelly, is always watching and looking for a reason to call child services.
To hopefully brighten his mom's life, Laurence has been secretly participating in a nightly radio contest for an all expense paid vacation. Every night, he has to sneak out to a telephone booth to call in to answer three questions.
Suddenly his mom doesn't come home. She's done this in the past for a couple days when she's been out on a drunk so Laurence takes care of Jay, protecting him by telling him that his mom is working extra hours. But the days turn into weeks and Laurence is having a hard time holding it together. They have no money or food but Laurence doesn't run out of hope that his mom will eventually come home.
This is the first book I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I liked the writing style and kept wanting to read more. It's written in first person, in Laurence's voice. Though Laurence is only fifteen, I didn't find the storyline too immature for me.
I thought the characters were done well. Laurence is only fifteen but has had to grow up very quickly having to take care of both his mom and brother. Jay is a typical five-year-old, a fan of Scooby Doo and at times thinks he's a dog. The mom is trying to do the best she can as a single mother but gets depressed often and turns to booze to make her feel better.
I'd like to read more from this author.
I received a copy of this ebook at no charge in exchange for my honest review.