Summary and book reviews of The Hit by Melvin Burgess

The Hit

By Melvin Burgess

The Hit
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2014,
    304 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Book Summary

A new drug is on the street. Everyone's buzzing about it. Take the hit. Live the most intense week of your life. Then die. It's the ultimate high at the ultimate price. Adam thinks it over. He's poor, and doesn't see that changing. Lizzie, his girlfriend, can't make up her mind about sleeping with him, so he can't get laid. His brother Jess is missing. And Manchester is in chaos, controlled by drug dealers and besieged by a group of homegrown terrorists who call themselves the Zealots. Wouldn't one amazing week be better than this endless, penniless misery? After Adam downs one of the Death pills, he's about to find out.

CHAPTER 1
THE VERY PUBLIC DEATH OF
JIMMY EARLE

WITH JIMMY, IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE FANS. PEOPLE OFTEN say a performer gave everything, but no one ever promised more for a show than he had tonight.

Adam didn't believe it, but he still felt part of something special. Jimmy Earle had been the big thing for years, his shows were legend-ary, but nothing before had ever been like this. People had flown from California and Beijing to be here. This was going to be the concert to end all concerts, the one experience no one could ever repeat.

"Like human sacrifice," said Adam. "They should tear his heart out, like the Aztecs. Now that would be cool."

"You won't be making jokes if he really does it," Lizzie said.

Adam shook his head. It would never happen. Jimmy had every-thing — wealth, youth, good looks, talent. You could understand the losers and lowlifes in the projects taking the drug called Death. They had nothing and never would. Why not go for that one crazy ...

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Reviews

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It’s been a long while since a thriller made me think; presented me with complex issues even while I was hungrily turning pages to get onto the next step, the next cliff. But Michael Burgess’s The Hit – about Adam, a 17-year-old Manchester youth who goes on a weeklong drug-addled bender knowing he will die at the end of it – does just that. Indeed, now that I think of it, reading the book is a bit like taking a weeklong trip. Except, of course, you’re chomping down the pages so quickly that it’s possible to finish it in one sitting. I did.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

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Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

Refreshingly rooted in the issues of the day, Burgess' near-future thriller stands out. Ages 15-18.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. His plot swerves are unexpected but well-maneuvered, and his characters' flaws and self-absorptions make them complex and real.

Booklist

Starred Review. [The] novel is viscerally exciting and emotionally engaging. Best of all, it is sure to excite both thoughtful analysis and heated discussion among its readers. A clear winner from Burgess.

School Library Journal

An exciting, dark story of sex, drugs, and revolution that is sure to grip readers

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Subintentioned Death

Ironically, the very thing that most parents hope for can turn out to be the very last thing that they want for their child. That is, most parents strive to raise a child who will, upon school graduation, get a job and move into his/her own place. But for this to happen the child must be ready to accept a certain amount of risk. After all, signing a lease does not guarantee that one will always be able to pay the rent. Especially in these uncertain times, the risk of losing one's position looms large in every employee's mind.

Teen BrainAnd so, researchers are learning that, by necessity, the adolescent brain is hardwired to be rather blasé about risky behavior. Teens, just because they have teenaged brains, can live quite happily ...

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