Alex Riley is 16 and naive. Lester Bray is old and wise. Together they drive Lester's Cadillac Deville from upstate New York to Fort Lauderdale to find Alex's father, then to Alabama to visit Lester's sister, finally returning home.
Cadillac Chronicles by Brett Hartman is a coming of age story with some classic motifs (Alex learns how to drive and loses his virginity to an experienced lady), and some non-traditional ones (Alex gets Lester out of jail and confronts homosexuality).
This YA novel confronts the issues of racism, homosexuality, flawed parents, and bad therapists with a philosophy of personal responsibility and tolerance. Even though there are several adult who behave inappropriately, there are no villains. The lack of evil and spirit of acceptance allow Alex to grow up and make the book a pleasure to read.
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway on July 4, 2013 from CBSD LIBRARY (A Goodreads Librarian - not the author). I received the book on July 19, 2013.
Note: Even though this is a YA novel, it includes a 3+ page section detailing how Alex loses his virginity.
Though the book treats everyone with tolerance and acceptance, as might be expected from the world of a 16-year-old boy, girls/women are mostly cliched and represented by their boobs. For example, when exercise gets too strenuous, our protagonist reverts to "girl-style" pushups. Overall, not a book recommended for young women.
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