Benoit, Charles. Snow Job. Houghton Mifflin/Clarion 2016 274p $17.99 ISBN 978-0-544-31886-1 hs Conflict VG
Nick is an honest, law-abiding teen whose vices are alcohol and possibly girls. Set in the winter of 1977-1978 in upstate New York, Snow Job features Nick working at the local Quick Mart doing all sorts of menial tasks. He has testified about a stabbing he witnessed by a local drug dealer a few years before, and now the drug dealer has returned from jail. Nick wants to become more than his current lifestyle would suggest. He has an eight-word motto: “Stand Out, Stand Up, Stand By, Stand Fast”. This motto inspires him to change his clothing style, stop thefts from the Quick Mart, stand by those he believes in, and vow never to falter in his mission to change. He tries to stay away from parties but gets caught up in being a runner for a drug kingpin. Nick’s flings with two girls influence his decisions as well, and he has his ups and downs in his mission to improve himself. Drug and alcohol scenes and violence are featured, but not graphically nor horribly violently. The ending has an unexpected twist concerning a girl involved with the drug culture, whose actions make Nick fear for his life. Snow Job is a cerebral journey about what it takes to change yourself when your environment doesn’t change and where an indifferent, dysfunctional family doesn’t support change. It is for mature readers.
Summary: Nick, a senior, wants to change his ways and become something other than a “banger” dude. Set in the 1970s, this novel about life choices, drugs, and growing up is a cerebral journey with a thriller edge. Grades 10-12.
Drug culture-Fiction --Lois McNicol