Reviewed by Zoe S., Grade 10
Pain & Wastings, by Carrie Mac, is a fictional story about, and narrated, by a boy named Ethan who breaks into an amusement park and gets caught by the police. His choice is to either go to juvie or take what he thinks is the easy way out and go on paramedic runs with one of the paramedics, Holly, who already knows too much about him and her partner, John. Ethan is faced with remembering his terrible past as he turns onto the street corner he used to live on, Main and Hastings, which is called Pain & Wastings for a reason. Will Ethan be able to deal with facing his past or will he have to figure out his own way to get out it? In my opinion this book is well written and gives a lot of detail but the book is short which I like! This book is a fast paced read showing a struggle that a young teenage boy is facing that others are able to relate to. The author creates brilliant personalities and it feels like you are actually there while you read. She also has a remarkable of way of describing how Ethan has survived different foster homes when he was a young boy. The only downside I see while reading is while Carrie Mac is descriptive with her writing I feel she does not provide enough detail about Ethan’s life with his drug induced and hooker mother. The author is still descriptive with them but only gives not even half a page of little clips of what the protagonist experienced throughout his stripped away life. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a book that evokes a lot of nostalgia and talks about the dark side drug use and how it affects younger kids throughout their year.