Author: Gordon Korman
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Humor, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Vince Luca is just like any other high school guy. His best friend, Alex, is trying to score vicariously through him; his brother is a giant pain; and his father keeps bugging him to get motivated. There is just one thing that really sets him apart from other kids—his father happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization.
Needless to say, Vince’s family’s connections can put a serious crimp in his dating life. How is he supposed to explain to a girl what his father does for a living? But when Vince finally meets a girl who seems to be worth the trouble, her family turns out to be the biggest problem of all. Because her father is an FBI agent—the one who wants to put Vince’s father away for good.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
This isn’t the type of book I’d normally buy for myself—In fact, my copy of Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman was donated to me by a local librarian who had some free swag sitting around. Score! Ahem. So color me surprised when I actually really enjoyed this book.
First off, the book didn’t have a lot of depth. Let’s get that right out of the way. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry between Vince and Kendra, and to be honest, Alex, Vince’s best friend, was a rather shitty friend. Very little time was spent on any of the other characters, including Vince’s parents and brother. The characters lacked depth, and that’s the main reason this book only got four stars out of me. Even though this was a YA book, I was expecting there to be a little more angst and drama, even emotion from the characters—and it just wasn’t there.
Technically speaking, the book was well written. There weren’t any noticeable typos, the sentence structure was easy to follow, and there weren’t any disruptive bouts of flowery language or awkward sentences. The cover fits the story, as does the title, and the way it was written easily appeals to the YA crowd. There was some romance and make-out sessions, but nothing graphic, and nothing I’d feel overly worried about sharing with a middle-grade reader.
Overall, the book was fun. The drama was geared towards the right audience, Vince’s story was interesting, and the writing was engaging. The charm of this story falls on the humor. There’s nothing particularly laugh-out-loud funny in the book, but between the ridiculous situations Vince finds himself in and the giggle-worthy nicknames of the mob-uncles, the story was a fun, light-hearted adventure. Reading Son of the Mob was a lot like sitting down on a rainy afternoon and eating a cupcake while playing Go-Fish with a circle of seven year olds. Short, fun, and sweet—and not necessarily how I’d want to spend every afternoon, but every once in awhile? Definitely a good way to lighten your day.