A Detroit suburb on the skids makes an appropriately seedy setting for this decidedly dark comedy featuring plenty of drinking, smoking, risky behavior, and lives gone wrong. The summer before his senior year proves to be a real eye-opener for Zach as he watches his parents’ marriage dissolve after both get laid off; falls in love with Sarah, the twin sister of his hulking and fiercely protective best friend, Tank; finds evidence that Tank’s savage mood swings and bursts of violence are due to steroids supplied by an idolized high-school coach; and learns that Tank’s supposedly upright father, an undercover cop and the story’s closest approach to an adult role model, has a stash of porn magazines and is taking another man’s wife to sex parties. Though Zach promises no happy endings at the outset of his present-tense narrative, by the close he has made at least a few good choices (after several wince-worthy poor ones), and his determined goal to find a way to escape his town and its traps still looks attainable. Grades 9-12. --John Peters
About the Author
Ryan Potter's (Royal Oak, Michigan) short fiction has appeared in several literary journals. Exit Strategy is his debut novel. To learn more about Ryan Potter, visit www.exitstrategy17.com.