The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner
Within the first few pages of the book we know 16-year-old Alex has just stolen his 14 car. We don't really know why he's stolen it, and even as the story continues we as the reader, or even Alex himself, never really seems to understand.
While this book was originally published in the 1970s, it does take place in the 1950s, which is funny in a way because this book could not only have been published today (and technically it is being republished now), but it could also take place now. Yes, there as aspects of the novel that give it a place in time like the soda shops, but its overall theme of a teen-aged boy falling through the cracks of society is still relevant today.
I wound up really getting into this, and at times couldn't put it down. I felt for Alex throughout, worrying for him in particular situations. It just seemed to unfair to think he was almost trapped in his life without a way to escape. At least it seemed unfair until I thought about the fact that he did just steal 14 cars. No, it wasn't malicious and he didn't really hurt anyone, but still. I realize there's the argument that it isn't really Alex's fault. After all, his parents aren't together, his father's an alcoholic, he's younger brother is no longer present in his life... But I think people can rise above their circumstances.
To be honest, (as silly as it makes me sound) I don't always enjoy novels that make me think. I would rather escape into a light and fluffy word, but with this one I had to put a lot of thought into not only the real meaning behind the words, but just understanding what was going on. I do think there are a lot of redeeming qualities on this book, and there are parts that I'll look back on fondly, but I can't picture myself wanting to pick this one up again.
Disclosure: I was provided this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
2 hours ago