The slightly tawdry world of boardwalk arcades along the New Jersey shore is just one of the attractions of Lubar's (Hidden Talents) engrossing novel. From the first moment soon-to-be-11th-grader Chad hears the boardwalk clown hurling insults ("His voice ripped the air like a chain saw," the novel begins), the teen is mesmerized. The "bozo," whose witty barbs lure passersby to try and drop him into a water tank, represents all that Chad is not: "Nobody ... Hidden Talents
Martin Anderson has been expelled from every school system in the area, so he is being sent to his last hope: Edgeview Alternative School. There he meets Torchie, his roommate, Bloodbath, the school bully, and Lip, the bully's sidekick. He also meets cheater and trash, two other people at the school who he becomes friends with. Everyone has a reason that they are at Edgeview, but some peoples reasons are more unusual than others. Cheater is there...
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