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Tap Out Paperback – September 11, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Kids (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762445696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762445691
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

“I am a pussy. I know this, and not much else.” From the first line, author Devine announces that he plans to hit hard and hit often, and most of the strikes hit home in perhaps the grittiest sports novel since Joshua C. Cohen’s Leverage (2011). Life for 17-year-old Tony feels like bracing for the inevitable punch: his mother is regularly beaten by her meth-using boyfriend, their trailer park is infested with dealers trying to pull Tony into their racket, and his social life is a blur of dead ends and missed opportunities. Tony finally gives in to buddy Rob’s invitation to join his mixed martial arts gym, and it is there that he finds the rarest of things—respect, hope, and confidence. Devine doesn’t dodge the dismal sex, constant violence, and omnipresence of drugs that make up Tony’s world, and he delivers it through an obscenity-laced, perfectly natural first-person voice that owes much to The Outsiders. To that end, the final fever pitch feels a bit frenzied, but for sure this strong outing deserves plenty of readers. Grades 10-12. --Daniel Kraus

Review

"A boy who knows only grinding despair finds hope within the walls of a gym. . . . This is bound to have huge appeal." —Kirkus Reviews

"Devine instantly captures your attention and holds it until the very end. . . . The storyline, the drama and the characters were all thoroughly put together."—School Library Journal Teen

"From the first line, author Devine announces that he plans to hit hard and hit often, and most of the strikes hit home in perhaps the grittiest sports novel since Joshua C. Cohen's Leverage (2011)...this strong outing deserves plenty of readers.—Kirkus Reviews

"Devine doesn’t pull any punches."—Publishers Weekly

"Highly recommended."—LifeIsBetterwithBooks.com

"It is honest, raw and emotional, and deserves a place on every high school and public library bookshelf."—You Decide: Should I Read It or Not? blog

"It is a wonderful tale of realizing you have to make your own decisions if you want your life to go anywhere." — Barefoot Dokusha blog

"[A] book that is relevant to teenage boys and one that they will read." —The Literati Press

"The book is very gritty, and completely unapologetic in revealing parts of our society that often get overlooked or swept under the rug. I think that is wonderful." —Sharon the Librarian blog

"A lot of contemporary YA deals with serious issues, but Tap Out may be the most brutal, stark portrayal of the utter hopelessness that is a reality for a lot of kids." —Forever Young Adult


More About the Author

Fearless Fiction: PRESS PLAY. DARE ME. TAP OUT. All from Running Press. High School English teacher.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Recommendation: Everyone needs to check this book out!
Amazon Customer
I shut down at 3am with only a chapter to go only to wake up 15 minutes later and finish the book.
Colleen
This book will Make readers realize there are always choices to be made.
Sharoni

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I received a digital galley, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
This originally caught my attention through the BEA Book Buzz I received from Netgalley. When I saw that it was about mixed martial arts, I knew that I had to get my hands on it. When I read about Tony's first time at the gym I had to laugh. That was me the first time that I walked into a mma gym, and I was only there to watch! Later, I tried to figure out why they clapped for me when I could barely block the punches that were flying at my face. My biggest strength in the beginning was making the guys work their butts off trying to pin me. I was (am) stronger than I look. This is probably true for everyone who dances in the cage. Sometimes while reading I had flashbacks of guys that I sparred with. Tap Out does an amazing job of mirroring real life.
With some stories you have to get grimy with it. It's that point past dark and surreal that takes to the ugly side of reality. Devine got real grimy with Tap Out and I think it makes this story stand out even more. Unfortunately, Tony's story is one that too many teens will be able to relate to. The great thing about it is that it gives these same teens a voice in a language that is their own.
This review has been written at different points throughout the reading of this book. I only mention this because I've had to stop reading for a bit. I had to stop because I couldn't breathe. There are so many emotions coiled up inside of me that they are beginning to suffocate me. Anger at Tony's situation forcing him into the monster he didn't want to become. Sadness because he doesn't see/understand that he always has a choice. Frustration because I know that understanding that he has a choice is almost impossible because of his situation and environment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Colleen on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are very few books that reel me in on the first page. However, this story and its characters hooked me from the very beginning and never let go. Not only was this a gritty look at some of the undesirable parts of the American culture that are often purposefully ignored; it was also a time honored story of conflict and decisions. Good versus evil, right versus wrong and all the gray and indifferent places in between. Unfortunately for Tony the main character in this book, the decisions he faces are more pressured and life altering because of his socioeconomic status. The author also creates the supporting characters so colorfully that the reader feels a vested interest for each one as Tony's story unfolds. I will admit that the read was difficult at times. I shut down at 3am with only a chapter to go only to wake up 15 minutes later and finish the book. My recommendation for this book would be any teenager or young adult that would ever dare to complain about their existence in a white collar neighborhood to elicit some empathy towards their less fortunate peers. It would also be a suggested read for those less fortunate peers to elicit hope to find a way out. Great Job Eric keep up the good work!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would suggest that any film maker who is looking to connect with young adults, should read this book. It is reality today, and would do well for them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I let my 12 year old daughter read this. Maybe I don't get the mother of the year award, but the message in it is important. Thanks for shipping on time. I read it myself. Good book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is AMAZING. It's a highly realistic interpretation of the life that too many teenagers live today. It's gut wrenching, blood curdling, and absolutely sickening at times. But what's even more horrifying is that the stuff Devine writes about actually happens. It's an eye-opener, guaranteed to make a huge impact on everyone who reads it, and everyone SHOULD read it. Devine is a true author of fearless fiction. This is a book that could easily be rejected by so many people because of the language and the content, but the language used couldn't be more realistic, and content is just shinning light on the dark shadowy nightmares of the first world. Absolutely amazing. A must read.
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Format: Paperback
My son get bored by most books for teens. Does not like "girl" books. He read Harry Potter series, Hunger Game series years ago and enjoyed them. Since then, he hasn't really liked anything. Reads because I make him only. Got him this book and he's not putting it down! THANK YOU AUTHOR!!
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By Amelia on June 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I recieved an ARC from Netgalley.

I've been struggling with writing this review. As a librarian I have one view of the book and as a reader I have another, and they don't match up and I don't know how I should review the book. I finally decided to just write this review as a reader, because when I think about the library and our readers, I don't think this book would fit in with what our YA readers are interested in reading.

This book was full of things that shocked me, especially since I was reading a YA book. Even with those shocks I still really enjoyed reading this book even though it wasn't my normal genre to read. I couldn't put it down, I had to keep reading to find out what Tony would have to face next, and how his decisions would impact his life and those of his mother and friends.
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