4 out of 4 stars
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They had agreed that he would take T.J., and she would keep Kathy. However, on the day that he decided to leave, T.J.’s dad put him in the car, drove around the block, ran behind the house, grabbed T.J.’s sister, ran out the back door, and drove away with both of his children. Author T.J. Wray tells his interesting life story in his memoir titled Our Teenage Years Growing Up in a Small Town in the 80’s.
T.J., his sister, and their dad lived on the run for more than ten years. The two children were often left alone and received very little affection from their father. Still, their dad would never let their mother and her new husband, Sam the idiot, raise his kids. T.J. returned to Gutherie to visit, and actually meet his mother. He had no memory of her. He ended up living with his mother and her husband for the next four and a half years. Those years were filled with memories made with T’J.’s best friend, Terry. The boys became friends when Terry stood by T.J.’s side during a seriously tense moment after school. Somewhere between the fights, girls, and motorbikes, T.J. and Terry formed a friendship that would last a lifetime.
This is an entertaining and interesting memoir. It is refreshing to see a man come from a rough beginning to grow up to be an optimist with a love of life and family. He lets the reader know that hurtful things did occur, but he focuses on the positive lessons he has learned. I truly enjoyed reading the development of the friendship of T.J. and Terry. This is a story about growth. It is quite engaging and a fun read. I was invested from start to finish. The book includes real family photos that put faces to the names of T.J. and his family.
This book is skillfully written, edited, and organized. There was not one grammar or editing error to be found. The story flows seamlessly from one scene to the next creating a pleasant reading experience. I recommend this book to non-fiction readers who enjoy intense memoirs.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This is a well-written and well-organized book. T.J. Wray tells a familiar yet interesting coming-of-age story. Readers will relate to many of T.J.’s experiences and the lessons that he has learned. This memoir highlights the importance of family, friendship, and optimism.
Our Teenage Years: Growing up in a small town in the 80's
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