Cricket Cherpin (seriously) has lived in an orphanage ran by nuns for the past 8 years. Now 8 months away from timing out of the system, he is contemplating his future. Cricket sees three options for himself: (1) move up from being an assistant to his drug-dealing best friend to being a full-fledged dealer himself; (2) take all of his mentor, “Caretaker’s”, training and start boxing for money; or (3) step off a cliff.
If you fall into the category of “I can’t stand YA books that take this not-really-that-intelligent lead character but yet give him the voice of a genius” you probably aren’t going to like Dear Life, you Suck. Cricket’s voice is brilliant. Foul-mouthed and filled with a vocabulary straight of a thesaurus, he’s not your average 17 year old. If you fall into the category of “I can’t stand YA books that have an oh-so-traumatic event that happened upteen years ago that the lead character is struggling to get over”, you might not like it either. Cricket suffered trauma, he tells you he’s f’d up and you know he is either going to have to come to terms with it or just end it all. I generally fall into Category #2, but somehow Scott Blagden produced a novel that didn’t make me want to pull my hair out waiting for the moment where Cricket’s past is finally revealed.
While there are other YA “trauma” books that, in my opinion, are better – this one held its own pretty well. Recommended for older teens for vulgar language, drug/alcohol use and heartbreaking reality.