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The Wrong Side of the Tracks - Books 1 & 2: A Coming-of-Age Story of First Love & True Friendship by [Wells, Mike]
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The Wrong Side of the Tracks - Books 1 & 2: A Coming-of-Age Story of First Love & True Friendship Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Length: 260 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2517 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: For Readers of Ian McEwan, Stephen King, J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee, Mark Twain and Stephen Crane Publishing Co. (18 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0062QCL94
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #461,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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After thoroughly enjoying reading The Wrong Side of the Tracks - Book 1: A Coming-of-Age Story of First Love & True Friendship recently, I felt compelled to purchase the second book of this outstanding two book series.

This is the first story that I have connected with in a long time. It was so expertly written that, at times, I felt that I was transported straight back to my youth and that is all thanks to Mike Wells's excellent writing style.

The themes of bullying continue in this episode but to a more critical level. There is further development of the character dialogue altercations and interactions and we soon see how ill thought out actions and juvenile behaviour impact on characters lives as the story unfolds. Therefore, this is an altogether darker part of the story.

That said, it is great to see that each character and their behaviour is consistent with the first book. We soon understand why they behave the way they do and what causes the 'rot' to set in. This results in gritty and realistic scenes that at times feel almost too much to bear.

Parents and mature readers will cringe at Ben's father's shameful behaviour (is it really symptomatic of his environment and circumstances?), empathise with the actions of Stephen's sympathetic mother and also no doubt reflect as I did, on the youthful antics with some degree of nostalgia as they read this novel. For example I particularly enjoyed reading the awkward yet unashamedly romantic 'starry sky' scene between the very nervous Stephen and the apple of his eye, Kristine.
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The story is a very moving account of the strong bonds of friendship that form between two boys who not only differ in age but lack any suitable male role model at home. Stephen, the youngest of the two has recently moved into the area following his parent's divorce and Ben the older more complex character has a brother who is in jail, a father who is drunk and abusive and a mother who works as a prostitute.

A central theme running in the book are the railway tracks and what this represents. The boys are often found playing there and Ben certainly gets involved in some hair raising moments with stunts which has the reader with their heart in their mouth. On one side of the tracks you have the 'Haves', the wealthy elite with their grand homes and on the other side of the tracks you have the 'Have Nots' or the poor. It's on the wrong side that Ben and Stephen live and all that entails.

At school Stephen has a crush on his friend Kristine who has a jock boyfriend by the name of Hatcher, both Kristine and Hatcher are from wealthy backgrounds and live on the right side of the tracks. When Stephen attempts to take his friendship with Kristine further by presenting her with a necklace made from a flattened penny from the railway line things spiral out of control with jealousy, misunderstandings, blame and violence which result in Ben and Stephen finding themselves on the run from the cops and a dare on a railway track that goes horribly wrong leading to tragedy.

The tragic events lead to Stephen growing up fast and with him adopting many of the characteristics of his friend Ben and this time it does look like he gets the girl without too much effort on his part once he stops caring.
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An absolutely wonderful read. The bond between Stephen and his best friend Ben, is amazing, such a shame that the ending is so sad and drastic.
However, this is a tale that will appeal to readers of all ages, but read book1 first, so that the whole of the complete story makes sense.
A must read for all, written by a splendid author, that once you start reading his books, you just can't put them down,they are so enthralling.
Just one last word------ ENJOY.
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this book is another of my favourite's its detail into the character's and where they live its very detail shows that the author mike wells as put every thought and feeling into this book,he captures you from that start and pulls you into a magical world of friendship and woe,the struggles the hardship the courage the strenght of the individual's really good, if you have not read it then please do its worth it...
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Another gripping read from Mike Wells. A very different genre from other Wells' books I've read but still very enjoyable
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