Sunday, April 14, 2024

Review: The Crew by Michael Mohr


Genre: Literary fiction


“When Jack Donnigan—a naïve, protected 16-year-old sophomore at St. Andy’s Prep in Southern California in 2000—jumps into The Crew, a renegade punk rock clique on campus led by the nefarious and intelligent Cannonball, he is thrilled. But he soon challenges Cannon’s leadership by starting a secret relationship with Cannon’s chosen girl, Sarah, and by jumping on stage at live punk shows, displaying more bravery to the rest of the members.

Jack’s relationship with mom and dad becomes increasingly strained. He stays out late and rebels for the first time, enjoying his freedom and wild experimentation. The faculty at St. Andy’s—wanting to dismantle the cult hero status of The Crew on campus—organize a coup. They plan to nail the perceived leader: Jack Donnigan, who’s been conned by Cannonball.

Meanwhile, Sarah and Jack decide to run away to Jack’s uncle’s in San Francisco, flee their small town and live “real life.” Jack’s mentor is his beloved but unconventional English teacher, Mr. Bryce. When the faculty nail Jack, Mr. Bryce does his best to save the floundering student. But when Jack is finally kicked out of his folks’ home, and Cannonball connives to drum up drama, stealing Sarah back by spreading a web of lies, who will save him from himself?”


“Michael Mohr is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer, former literary agent’s assistant and freelance book editor.” For more, visit his website.


I related to this story way more than I want to admit. I think anyone who had a rebellious streak in their teens (an extremely large percentage of the population I suspect) will react the same. Those who didn’t will at least see a high school friend or maybe enemy or at least someone they knew in their high school years in Jack Donnigan, the protagonist of this story.

Since I was able to relate to Jack, I was also concerned as to how things were going to work out for him. There were a lot of possibilities, some good, some very much not so, and plenty in between. I’ll leave it to you to decide where on this spectrum things end up for when you’re done reading, but will say that I wasn’t sure how things were going to end until they did. It was an intense tale that kept me engrossed to the very end.

One minor issue, but worth mentioning, is whoever did the copyediting or proofreading of this needs to research the phrase “all of the sudden” and discover that it should be “all of a sudden” according to all the experts. But even if you cringe the handful of times you read this, it is bearable and the rest of the editing and proofreading was great.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


A bit of adult language. They’re wild teenage punks, it wouldn’t be realistic without some.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues other than a handful or more times where the book says “all of the sudden” instead of the correct “all of a sudden” which grates on me way more than it probably should.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words

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