Posts Tagged: drugs and alcohol


I’ve had the opportunity to read many of the books that are currently in the DIVerse Families database; one that has stood out to me was Punkzilla by Adam Rapp. This book is about a 14-year-old boy named Jamie, but also known as Punkzilla who is fleeing away from military school to reach his brother who is dying from cancer. The plot was definitely a roller coaster with all kinds of twists and turns adding to the narrative. I enjoyed reading this book because it showed me a new perspective on diversity and gave me clarity on how important the DIVerse Families database was. I feel like representation is very important; seeing yourself represented feels really good and motivating. Growing up, I’ve always gravitated towards books that represented me in some kind of way because I wanted to relate to the storyline. But lately, these past few months I’ve realized that just because a character doesn’t look like me or didn’t grow up in the same background as me, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the book and learn something new. Diversity isn’t just about seeing yourself in media but seeing everyone else as well. Seeing and understanding that people come from all walks of life, and just because they are different from you doesn’t mean their story should go unheard. I enjoyed reading Punkzilla because it was a breath of fresh air from what I’ve always been used to reading in the past. This coming-of-age story touched on multiple topics of diversity from Family Relationships, to LGBT+ topics, to even Disability and Health, and much more. I learned about problems and issues I didn’t even know existed, and for that, I’m very grateful for getting the chance to read this book. I highly recommend for everyone to go check out the book, whether you identify with the character or not, come join Jamie on his adventure to reaching his brother.


Want to read the analysis for Punkzilla? Click here to check it out.

Brooklyn, Burning

Brooklyn, Burning book cover art

I picked up this book because I’m from Brooklyn myself and something about the cover picked at my interest. Throughout the book, the main character’s gender/sexual identity is somewhat hidden. Kid’s parents kicked him out after they found out about his sexuality and he resorts to living on the streets. He finds a guy who offers him a place to stay and he’s perfect to Kid, even with his heroin addiction. Kid loves everything about him and seems to be the only one that understands him really. Fast forward to the summer, Kid is still living on the streets, he’s found a bar whose owner looks out for him sometimes and he has a new love interest: Scout. Scout is an extremely talented singer who also plays guitar to perfection. Kid describes Scout’s music almost lovingly. Kid goes through ups and downs during that time, figuring out whether moving back home should be an option, being banned from the bar because of his age (no worries the owner sets him up with his own little place in the cellar/behind the bar) and most importantly the police accusing him of burning down a warehouse that the kids on the street used to live in. My favorite thing about Kid is his approach to life. Almost everything in this kid’s life falls apart but he still manages to remain calm, funny, and so sweet. Throughout the book, I was amazed at how easily he moved through life despite every bad thing that’s happened to him. Luckily, he finds Scout, falls in love with him and the music, gives him a place to stay and goes as far as organizing a concert for him. Throughout the book, Felix’s faith is shrouded in mystery. Whenever anyone mentions him, there’s a sadness/nostalgia that comes with it. The book is great overall and towards the middle we find out the sad news that Felix killed himself by overdosing on heroin in the very bar Kid still goes to every day. Although I expected a tragedy, it still hit hard, but Kid moved on thanks to his own strength but also through his wonderful support system. I teared up many times while reading this book, but I truly didn’t put it down until I was done.


Want to see the analysis for Brooklyn, Burning? Click here to check it out.