________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 39. . . .June 10, 2016


Scam. (Orca Soundings).

Lesley Choyce.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
113 pp., pbk., pdf & epub., $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1174-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1175–1 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1176-8 (epub).

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Mark Mueller.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


I'd had nightmares about this a million times, but they were never as bad as the real thing.


Josh is a young teenager who always finds that he must keep things together. He is an only child living with a mother addicted to drugs. After his mother dies of an apparent overdose and he is obliged to move into a group home with other “at risk” youth, he is really on his own and has to learn to look out for, and make choices for, himself. On the day he is on his way to his mother’s funeral, he meets an attractive young girl, Lindsay, who steals his wallet for the sake of a thrill. After confronting her and having his wallet returned, he enters into a complex relationship with this young woman who enjoys the thrill of stealing from others. Lindsay seems to be everything that Josh wants in a girl, and yet, she also seems to be everything but what she appears to be. Josh’s brief relationship with Lindsay seems to change his life forever; however, the reader is left wondering if the same could be said for Lindsay.

     Scam is the latest book written by Nova Scotian author Lesley Choyce who has authored many other books for Orca. Scam is a high intensity novel for reluctant readers. Choyce hooks the reader into the complex lives of the book’s characters and the complexities of life that they encounter. Choyce does a great job in illustrating the intense emotions of youth and the intricate scams that were pulled off by Lindsay. Josh’s struggles with his emotions for a potential love interest do seem to overshadow the other struggles that he would have at times. This reader also found the ending to be a little anti-climatic which resulted in a three star review for this book.


Mark Mueller is a librarian living and working in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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