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Bullet Point Paperback – April 27, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Budget cuts spell death for sports programs at East Canton High so Wyatt, a sophomore on the varsity baseball team, is encouraged to move to Silver City to play ball and continue his chances at a college scholarship. Even though a technicality dashes his hopes to join the team, he's at loggerheads with his stepfather and, after a particularly dangerous blowup, decides to move anyway. In Silver City, he realizes that he is now living in the prison town where the biological father he's never met is serving life for murder. Meanwhile, he meets 19-year-old impulsive Greer, whose father is also in prison. Curious to know the circumstances involving Wyatt's father's incarceration, they investigate in the hope that Sonny is innocent. Told in a rapid-fire style, this novel aims at dimension but comes up a little shallow. Too many coincidences render some characters mere plot devices, and Wyatt often comes to emotional understanding too quickly, as when he first meets his father or deals with a confusing girlfriend. That being said, the book will be an easy sell to teens, who will want to keep reading to unravel the mystery surrounding Sonny. With descriptions of foreclosed properties and tough economic realities peppered liberally throughout, along with strong language and sexual situations, this title is as gritty and raw as today's headlines.—Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* It’s common enough to call a book a page-turner, but here’s one that should’ve been printed on a scroll—those pesky page turns take far too much time. With an engulfing plot, multifaceted characters, and a plausibility rare to the genre, Abrahams’ latest beats you senseless and leaves you for dead. Great, huh? When a budget crunch squeezes out his school’s baseball program, 16-year-old Wyatt moves across the state to take advantage of another school’s team. It’s there that he meets Greer—a few years older, beautiful, and equipped with wildly fluctuating mood swings. The frequent arguments between the two are the book’s heart, skipping fluently and believably between impatience, attraction, desperation, and hope. Like almost all characters in the book, Greer’s good/bad status is perpetually in doubt, especially when her incarcerated dad helps arrange a meeting between Wyatt and his biological father, who also resides in the local prison. When Wyatt begins to suspect his father’s innocence, he gets curious—and in trouble. Edgier and sexier than most YA novels dare, Abrahams’ thriller wrenches guts with a Richard Price–like facility. Readers will be as irretrievably drawn in as Wyatt. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061227692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061227691
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,382,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I went into this expecting a mystery; a pretty standard whodunnit. In fact, this book does not seem to be much of a mystery at all. It is a very good book though, no matter what category you put it in. In many ways, it's a coming of age tale for Wyatt, a 16 year old boy living in a town suffering from the effects of the economy. Wyatt lives for baseball, and when his school gets rid of it because of the budget, Wyatt moves to a nearby town for a fresh start and to get away from his abusive step-father.

It's after his move that Wyatt gets in contact with Sonny, his biological father, currently serving a life term in prison for murder. He also meets Greer, a girl with a shady past and her own set of father issues. It's then that Wyatt goes on a "quest" to determine if his father is really innocent, and if his girl friend is innocent as well. Wyatt's steadfast determination to view the world as black and white in the face of all the gray areas now confronting him formed the basis of his character and the main appeal of this book.

The author has told a good story here, pretty unique in YA fiction. His characters are 100 percent believable. He has created a sense of foreboding that runs throughout the book and it's that sense of dread as well as the compelling characters that keep the pages turning. There's no real action in the book until the very end, but the suspense runs deep. Read this book for the relationships - the dialogue between Wyatt and Greer is perfect. I won't speak to the ending except to say that even though I was expecting something drastic, I wasn't expecting that.

A warning to parents: this book is a good read for older teens and adults.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE Peter Abrahams books. So I've resisted criticizing this one. But to judge Bullet Point as good as earlier works would do great injustice to them. (For example, the Echo Falls series which are wonderful.)

Bullet Point starts strong: a normal kid, Wyatt, almost 17, is thrown by circumstance into unfamiliar situations. As usual, Abrahams does a great job of capturing the relationships among people.

The plot suddenly speeds up when an "older" woman (19), who Wyatt meets by chance, occasions the putting of him in touch with his biological father who is serving a life sentence.

Was Wyatt's dad guilty of the crime he's accepted punishment for? The story moves along OK as Wyatt unravels what happened 17 years ago, before he was born.

Why I judge the book less than Abrahams best is twofold.

The real "bad guys" appear at the end without enough set up early in the plot.

Mr. Abrahams way of dealing with the separation of Wyatt from his "older" woman didn't make sense given the profiles he'd established for the characters.

For new readers of Abrahams, don't judge him by this book. He has many many other ones without the flaws I saw in this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Peter Abraham is one of my favorite authors, I never fail to enjoy his books. However, I am less than enthralled by his more 'adolescent' books and I think this is one of them. Having said that - an adult would not be demeaned by reading it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've never written a one-star review before, so congratulations Peter Abrahams. I got this book because I loved, loved, loved, his Echo Creek series--also for teens. This one seems like it's going somewhere until the end, when it flails out of control into a meaningless chaos that is not supported by the story, is not believable, and is just plain bad reading unless you like meaningless violence and weird personality changes that don't happen in real life.

Folks with PTSD, stay clear!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Overall, the novel was not all that entirely impressive. However, I really liked Wyatt and Greer as characters, the the book did end up striking some emotional chords for me as it progressed. At the same time, it was also a little predictable, and sometimes the story was moved fast enough that I felt like I was being ushered into the action or romantic scenes.
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Format: Paperback
Wyatt connects with his biological father, in prison for murder. He meets Greer, an older girl who also has a father in prison. As the pair begin to look into Wyatt's father's case, they are starting to believe that perhaps he was innocent after all. There is a lot of action and twists and turns in this book. This book would be a good read for reluctant YA readers, especially boys. There is enough romance in it that girls could enjoy it as well. This was a good, quick read.

[...]
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Format: Paperback
A murder mystery set years after the suspect begins serving a life sentence, Bullet Point thrusts forth many questions and theories, engaging the reader early on. Wyatt has never known his biological father. In fact, until things start being churned up, Wyatt has rarely asked questions and doesn't even know which prison houses his lifer dad. Watching Wyatt face a series of unexpected and difficult situations, this book is a study in character development as much as it is a thrill ride. This is definitely a page turner, amping up the suspense.

Wyatt starts out as a strong main character, a mostly average teenage boy living in a town that's going nowhere. His main shining hope is baseball, particularly since his grades are nothing stunning. As the plot progresses, however, Wyatt's innate cleverness and reasoning skills become both evident and honed. He learns plenty of new things about himself and grows exponentially in both his maturity, his interactions with people and in the way he views the world around him. There is a very obvious shift in his overall frame of mine, pushing him from a high school kid to someone who has seen things others go through their entire lives without ever facing. The effect it has on him is striking and brought forth, leading to a very memorable ending.

Greer is snarky and independent, adding spark to both Wyatt's world and the plot itself. She is difficult to explain without giving too much away of the plot but she plays a central role in both Wyatt's personal development and that of the plot. She is a very memorable character even if moody, rapidly shifting in her reactions and emotions.
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