Official Review: Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody by AA Freda

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any young adult books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Include the name of the book, and if possible the author's name, in the title of the topic. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
Amagine
Posts: 5441
Joined: 04 Mar 2017, 19:27
2017 Reading Goal: 400
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 45
Favorite Author: James Patterson
Bookshelf Size: 726
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amagine.html
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
fav_author_id: 3251

Official Review: Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody by AA Freda

Post by Amagine » 20 Apr 2017, 18:54

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody" by AA Freda.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


“Teenagers experiment with their bodies and minds. We’re all feeling our way, you know? Trying to understand how we fit into this world.” -Spike, Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody
It’s not easy being a teenager in the Bronx, especially when you’re an Italian immigrant who’s just beginning to learn English. Thirteen-year-old Joey finds himself in a new city and having to deal with new bullies and the usual teen angst. Luckily for Joey, it’s not so bad being the new kid on the block when your older cousin, Spike, is infamous throughout the entire neighborhood.

Enter Spike, a fifteen-year-old who is the perfect display of brains and brawn. Spike is a charismatic teen who adults fawn over, boys imitate and girls fantasize about. Being the gang leader of “The Black Knights,” a mostly harmless community of teens, Spike instantly helps Joey integrate into the neighborhood. Under Spike’s wings, Joey experiences a summer full of friendship, first love, sex and ultimately tragedy.

Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody by AA Freda, is a contemporary YA novel that covers many tough topics that teenagers face every day. In the book, we see the questioning of religion, physical abuse, sex and much more. This book isn’t a fantasy. The author creates characters and a plot that readers can relate to in one way or another. There is a lot of diversity in the book as we see Italian, Hispanic, Jewish, African American and Irish characters. The plot is straight forward, but has a steady pace. The language in the book is both inspirational and graphic. It’s inspirational because with every mistake the characters make, they learn from them. Readers benefit by learning right along with the characters. The language is graphic because of the moments of violence and the sex scenes. One scene involves a drunk teenager allowing herself to be “gang-banged.” This book is not for the faint of heart.

One of the things I enjoyed about the book were the characters; Joey and Spike. In the book, Joey is the narrator, but he mostly spends his time observing his cousin. Even though… Spike is obviously the bigger character, we still get the opportunity to learn about Joey and watch his development. He starts off as a young teenager who is naïve and easily targeted by others. He stood in Spike’s shadow and we witness his insecurities as he compares everything about himself to Spike. He starts to change, as every scene that had an impact on his life, had an impact on his character. He experiences the good and bad side of youth.

Spike is another fascinating character. The interesting thing about Spike is that his character doesn’t go through changes like Joey’s. He’s definitely not a “cookie-cutter” character… he’s too complex. He helps his friends when they’re going through tough times, but he hurts them by sleeping with their moms and sisters. He is an infamous fighter around the neighborhood, but he’s also a voracious reader who enjoys trips to the library. He threatens people, but will openly talk about his dream of being a public service lawyer because he wants to make a difference in the world. Spike’s character is a huge contradiction. Those contradictions are why he is so complex and likeable. He’s complicated… and he’s okay with that. He doesn’t try to change anything about himself for anyone. He’s a strong character that I feel teenagers need to read about.

If I had to give negatives, it would be the fact that I felt Spike should have been the narrator since it was mostly his story. Also, the author tried to create an enigma in the story, “Rudy Cazoody.” Rudy Cazoody simply wasn’t interesting to the plot. I felt it was a pointless addition to the story. Despite my negatives, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The plot is realistic and relatable. Even though, at times it was a little too graphic with its sexual content, I reminded myself that sex is something that teens think about and do… whether adults like it or not. I recommend this book to older teens. Besides sex, it touches on other issues that are very important to them. This book could be a benefit.

******
Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody
View: on Bookshelves

Like Amagine's review? Post a comment saying so!
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." -A.A Milne

"I am grateful for all the books that sparked my imagination." -Unknown
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6790
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 9
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 244
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings

Post by kandscreeley » 21 Apr 2017, 09:55

This sounds pretty deep. I don't think it's the story for me, but you did a good job with the review. It almost reminds me a little of the movie with Cuba Gooding Jr. Boyz in the Hood. Thanks.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Amagine
Posts: 5441
Joined: 04 Mar 2017, 19:27
2017 Reading Goal: 400
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 45
Favorite Author: James Patterson
Bookshelf Size: 726
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amagine.html
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
fav_author_id: 3251

Post by Amagine » 21 Apr 2017, 11:11

kandscreeley wrote:This sounds pretty deep. I don't think it's the story for me, but you did a good job with the review. It almost reminds me a little of the movie with Cuba Gooding Jr. Boyz in the Hood. Thanks.
It can kind of be compared to Boyz N the Hood because of the gangs and sexual content. This book is more diverse in characters though.

Thanks for reading! :D
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." -A.A Milne

"I am grateful for all the books that sparked my imagination." -Unknown
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald

User avatar
ZenaLei7
Posts: 571
Joined: 07 Jan 2017, 14:25
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 25
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 36
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 43
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 74
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-zenalei7.html
Latest Review: Intersection Operator by J. Jupes

Post by ZenaLei7 » 21 Apr 2017, 12:02

This seems like an interesting read, but I feel like it's a little too graphic for me. I like how this book covers a variety of topics that teens are going through today. Great Review!
“The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.” - W. Somerset Maugham

User avatar
Amagine
Posts: 5441
Joined: 04 Mar 2017, 19:27
2017 Reading Goal: 400
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 45
Favorite Author: James Patterson
Bookshelf Size: 726
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amagine.html
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
fav_author_id: 3251

Post by Amagine » 21 Apr 2017, 12:18

ZenaLei7 wrote:This seems like an interesting read, but I feel like it's a little too graphic for me. I like how this book covers a variety of topics that teens are going through today. Great Review!
Thanks for reading! :D
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." -A.A Milne

"I am grateful for all the books that sparked my imagination." -Unknown
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald

User avatar
Meggie Lou
Posts: 40
Joined: 26 Apr 2017, 19:58
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Bookshelf Size: 20
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-meggie-lou.html
Latest Review: "Raven's Peak" by Lincoln Cole

Post by Meggie Lou » 29 Apr 2017, 17:02

I don't think this story is for me but your review is very informative. It's hard to find diverse books in the YA section of my local bookstore and I'm glad to know about this one. While I probably won't read it, I can think of a few people who might like it.

Thank you for reviewing :)
Latest Review: "Raven's Peak" by Lincoln Cole

User avatar
Amagine
Posts: 5441
Joined: 04 Mar 2017, 19:27
2017 Reading Goal: 400
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 45
Favorite Author: James Patterson
Bookshelf Size: 726
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amagine.html
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
fav_author_id: 3251

Post by Amagine » 29 Apr 2017, 20:13

Meggie Lou wrote:I don't think this story is for me but your review is very informative. It's hard to find diverse books in the YA section of my local bookstore and I'm glad to know about this one. While I probably won't read it, I can think of a few people who might like it.

Thank you for reviewing :)
There is definitely a strong need for diverse books in our world. I get excited every time I see one because its a sign that we're getting a little bit closer to an acceptance of all people, no matter their race or religion.

Thanks for reading! :D
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." -A.A Milne

"I am grateful for all the books that sparked my imagination." -Unknown
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald

User avatar
CarrieMe
Posts: 107
Joined: 06 Mar 2017, 14:31
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 8
Bookshelf Size: 358
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-carrieme.html
Latest Review: "Away From The Sun" by Rebecca brisbane

Post by CarrieMe » 02 May 2017, 13:58

I love YA books that tackle real issues, especially when they also have a diverse set of characters. Thanks for the review!
Latest Review: "Away From The Sun" by Rebecca brisbane

User avatar
Amagine
Posts: 5441
Joined: 04 Mar 2017, 19:27
2017 Reading Goal: 400
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 45
Favorite Author: James Patterson
Bookshelf Size: 726
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amagine.html
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
fav_author_id: 3251

Post by Amagine » 02 May 2017, 14:03

CarrieMe wrote:I love YA books that tackle real issues, especially when they also have a diverse set of characters. Thanks for the review!

I love YA too! It's one of my favorite genres! You'll love this book!

Thanks for reading! :D
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." -A.A Milne

"I am grateful for all the books that sparked my imagination." -Unknown
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald

User avatar
blueberry13
Posts: 1
Joined: 03 Feb 2018, 12:14
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by blueberry13 » 03 Feb 2018, 12:18

This book is very strong and full of real life problems. I believe that it teaches a lot, and is very informative. This book has a diverse set of characters, something that I really enjoyed. I would recommend this book. :)

User avatar
Nanig83006
Posts: 130
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 06:51
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 46
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 44
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nanig83006.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

Post by Nanig83006 » 27 Mar 2018, 12:47

It's interesting how you say the title character isn't important to the book because the title is what caught my eye. Your review gives great insight and your comment on the characters not being "cookie cutter" is delightful as I can't stand the stereotypical "omg-my-life-is-miserable-ttyl" trope that has taken over Young Adult Fiction. What's more fun is how Spike sounds like the Gatsby to Joey's Nick. I will be adding this to my shelve and, hopefully, reading it very soon. Thanks!

User avatar
Anjhel12
Posts: 4
Joined: 09 Jun 2017, 09:37
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 8

Post by Anjhel12 » 17 Jul 2018, 14:05

I'm interested in it. It dramatically like story in real...and I really like the reviews...

User avatar
Britty01
Posts: 493
Joined: 26 Apr 2018, 11:04
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 160
Favorite Book: Will's Red Coat
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 81
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-britty01.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Britty01 » 18 Jul 2018, 11:04

From this concise review this book is one I shall have to give some thought to. While it may be graphic in places, I would like to get an understanding of what it is like for teenagers living in big city areas like the Bronx.

Post Reply

Return to “Young Adult Fiction Books”