ARC Review | Mr. 60% by Clete Barrett Smith

Mr. 60% by Clete Barrett Smith
Young Adult
Publication Date | August 22nd, 2017
ARC from Netgalley


Book Blurb:

Matt Nolan is the high school drug dealer, deadbeat, and soon-to-be dropout according to everyone at his school. His vice principal is counting down the days until Mr. 60% (aka Matt) finally flunks out and is no longer his problem. What no one knows is the only reason Matt sells drugs is to take care of his uncle Jack, who is dying of cancer.

Meet Amanda. The overly cheerful social outcast whose optimism makes Matt want to hurl. Stuck as partners during an after-school club (mandatory for Matt), it’s only a matter of time until Amanda discovers Matt’s secret. But Amanda is used to dealing with heartbreak, and she’s determined to help Matt find a way to give life 100 percent.

| Book Review |

While Mr. 60% wasn’t a particularly hard read, it was a rough read. Since this book is so short, I really wasn’t expecting much from it, but boy was I wrong. This little book packed a big punch. Matt is doing just enough to get by by the skin of his teeth, and the vice principal is chomping at the bit to see Matt fail. The school counselor, however, is in Matt’s corner. This was one of my favorite aspects of the story. I think there are adults that are just so quick to write kids off, but it takes someone special who can see past the superficial and be there to cheer someone on and help them succeed. Matt’s story broke my heart, and while he wasn’t so much, I was very angry on his behalf. He’d been through so much and he really didn’t have anything to look forward to. Matt was essentially forced to live in the present, and he really was living day to day. I really liked the introduction of Amanda’s character in this story. She pretty much elbowed her way into Matt’s life, and her unexpected offer of friendship (though unwanted,) was just what Matt needed. As this book was short, obviously the pacing was pretty much non-stop. I found myself invested in what happened to Matt and to Amanda, and my heart just broke at Matt’s uncle’s last ditch effort to put him back on good terms with his mother. What I really liked about this book was how it really hits home the fact that you have no idea what’s going on in someone else’s life, and trying to define them by one aspect is doing them (and you) a disservice. This book was a four star read for me, but if it had been longer (and possibly with an Amanda POV addition,) there’s not a doubt in my mind that it could have been five.

| Rating |

3 thoughts on “ARC Review | Mr. 60% by Clete Barrett Smith

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: