Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mean Little People by Paige Dearth

Seven year old Tony has two choices to live or to die.

Tony Bruno just wants to fit in, but the bullies at his school are cruel and relentless. At home, he leans on his mother Teresa for strength and comfort, but she’s no match for his father, Carmen. His father, a fighter and bully himself, hates Tony. He is embarrassed by the child for not fighting back and wishes that Tony was never born.

Then as a teen, in one act of blind courage, Tony fights back shifting the balance of power with his peers. Even after Tony sets things straight with the neighborhood boys, his father continues to terrorize him.

At school, Tony is now respected by his classmates. One day he stands up for a bullied kid named, Salvatore, and the boys become friends. One night, Salvatore commits a horrific crime and Tony suffers the consequences of his friends’ actions. Tony’s punishment changes the course of his life.

All alone and nowhere to call home, Tony sets out to find the life he longs for, one filled with love and acceptance. But nothing comes easily for him, and he is forced to draw upon strength from deep within to survive.

From the dark world he lives in, Tony does unimaginable things to leave his unwanted life behind.

Mean Little People is a haunting story of one bullied child deprived of love and taunted by corrupt individuals along his journey. Tony’s story will make you question the balance between good and evil.
This story begins when Tony Bruno is 7 years old and follows him through young adulthood. It is bleak, brutal, and at times shocking. Life for Tony is nothing but pain. He is taunted, beaten and bullied nearly to death by his classmates, belittled and beaten at home by his good for nothing father, friendless and alone in his misery. He is subjected to every abuse imaginable. Physical, emotional, and later sexually assaulted, which was quite difficult to read...I had to put this book down twice and walk away for a bit.
At 13 he is tossed out of his home with nowhere to turn. Tony ends up in a gang and later in the mob. There are few friendly faces amidst all this turmoil. He meets a kindly older woman and her grand daughter who become his surrogate family, and a girl he falls in love with, but his gangster lifestyle attracts danger to those closest to him. This was an emotional read, that at times had me enraged, disgusted, and sometimes in tears.
4 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy for review.

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