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Patty Osborne's Blog

Double or Nothing: hard to resist

Patty Osborne

Have you ever wanted to take a wild ride inside the mind of a teenager, a teenager who’s a compulsive gambler?

Okay, I haven’t either, but I couldn’t stop reading Dennis Foon’s book, Double or Nothing (Annick), that is narrated by Kip, who is smart and hyper and who gets his adrenalin rushes by betting on everything from whether his English teacher will belch in the next twenty seconds to who will win the Sunday night drag race behind the mall. While Kip’s single mom works two jobs so she can put money into his college fund, Kip gets in deeper and deeper but remains compulsively optimistic and even when he is forced to face his addiction, it’s not clear whether his plan will keep him safe. Foon’s tight and economical writing keeps the story moving at a pace that mirrors the speed at which Kip spots a gambling opportunity, acts on it, rationalizes any losses and then moves on. This is a YA book but even OAs (old adults) will get caught in its web.

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