Synopses & Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Tony Antioch lives in Pleasant Meadows, a trailer park where questions aren't asked since everyone already knows the answers from their own experience. He dreams of rescuing his mother from her constant stream of abusive boyfriends but in reality can barely duck the punches that are aimed at himself.
When Tony is coerced into joining his friend Rob's Mixed Martial Arts class, he is surprised to find that he has a talent that he actually wants to develop. But with a meth-dealing biker gang that is hungry for recruits and a vicious cycle of poverty and violence that precedes him, Tony is going to need a lot more than blood and guts to find a way out.
Gritty, powerful, and unapologetic, Tap Out explores what it takes to stay true to oneself and the consequences of the choices made along the way in order to do so.
"Faced with a variety of hard, unpleasant decisions, a teenager turns to mixed martial arts (MMA) in an attempt to take control of his increasingly difficult life. Seventeen-year-old Tony Antioch can't see any way out of a daily existence that involves a drug-addicted mother, her physically abusive boyfriend, and a meth-dealing biker gang that refuses to take no for an answer when they try to recruit him. Every attempt Tony makes to help his mother, avoid trouble, or better his situation inevitably turns sour, with his MMA training only making him a better, more brutal fighter. It all leads up to a deadly, desperate climax that leaves no one unscathed. Devine doesn't pull any punches in this violent and graphic tale, and the visceral, profanity-drenched narration is in keeping with the subject matter. Women are used and abused, people are beaten and killed, and drugs and casual sex are prevalent. Moments of hope and optimism are far and few between, and even mature readers may find the story overwhelmingly bleak. Ages 14 up. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Honest, raw, and thought provoking, the story of a teenage boy who finds escape through Mixed Martial Arts.
About the Author
is currently a writer, high school English teacher, and educational consultant. He is also the author of This Side of Normal
, a novel about a teen struggling with type 1 diabetes. He lives in Waterford, New York, with his family, and can be found online at ericdevine.org and on Twitter @eric_devine.