Book Review · JGBSReviewLibrary · Young Adult

Chico Boy by Gina Hooten Popp


Genre: Young Adult
Number of Pages: 210
Publication Date: October 13, 2016
Rating: 3-star-review out of 5
Themes: Friendship, Honesty

downloadFourteen-year-old Chico Boy has not had it easy. His dad left the family, his mom is struggling to provide for him and his sister, and he isn’t doing so well in school.

However, all these problems seem a bit minuscule when he witnesses someone getting shot. Now the shooters are after him and his friend, Talula. What will they do?


This read was something that I had a hard time getting into. To be honest, I tried at least three times to read this book and it wasn’t until the last time that I forced myself to finish it. Was it a bad read? No. Was it a great read? No.

It is clear that Talula and Chico are fairly good friends. I say fairly because he did lie to her. Other than that, they have a friendship that both would like to take the next step. The struggle of becoming more than friends I found to be clear and realistic.

However, I found the presentation of the book in general a bit flat. The writing for starters was okay. There were some grammatical errors, but what really got to me was the forced dialogue and the cringe-worthy scenes. I completely understand that this is meant for young adults, but I have come to love many books in this genre, so I know it’s the genre itself. Reflecting back, I think a lot of it has to do with me not liking the main characters.

It is difficult to point out why I didn’t like the characters. Perhaps it was the immaturity. Perhaps it was the ridiculous choices they were making. Or perhaps they just seemed too young for my taste. For whatever reason, I did not like them and that hindered my enjoyment of the book.

The plot sometimes kept my interest, and sometimes I found myself skimming along to fast forward through. Personally, if I heard a gun shot, the first thing I would do is tell my parents no matter what. But, for whatever reason both Chico and Talula decided not to say anything. Then, when Chico was being shot at, he still didn’t tell his mom. I found this very frustrating and unrealistic.

Overall, this was a middle-of-the-road book that I didn’t really enjoy, but maybe others would.

Maybe. To those who like innocent tween-type of books.

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