Payback | Teen Ink


November 13, 2007
By Anonymous

By: James Heneghan

Realistic fiction

Set in modern day Canada Payback tells about the life of a fifteen year old boy named Charlie Callaghan from Scotland that just moved to Canada. Before he moved his mother had just died, his father spends the whole day working, and he lives with his crazy uncle Rufus. With nobody there by his side to help him or guide him through life, Charlie begins to drift away from his school and most importantly his family. The school bully begins to make fun of him until the next new kid comes along. When Benny moves to his school Ron the school bully starts to pick on Benny, Charlie doesn’t want to become friends with Benny because he doesn’t want to be made fun of.

The author James Henneghan slowly develops many themes in the story like love for his sister, regret for not being Benny’s friend at his time of need, hate like when for being fun of for being with Benny, but most important of all friendship when he realizes he must help his friend out. James Henneghan reaches deep inside you to make you feel what just about any kid would feel like. Also the author doesn’t right away tell you the way he feels he very carefully hides his emotions and he himself didn’t even know that he saw Benny as a really close friend, almost like a little brother.

Payback is a lot different from other realistic fiction novels because it takes a long time for the author James Hennegan to inform or feed you other information about other characters because he is stuck in his own little world by himself. Also he really makes you feel what some of the characters feel like for example Benny feels confused about why he tries so hard and still Charlie doesn’t want anything to do with him.

So overall Payback by James Henneghan is a solid book. But is without a drought a must reed for many kids that are going through some rough times or those who don’t realize that one step can lead you in whole new direction. All in all Payback deserves three stars out of four because though it is interesting and makes you think it does get a bit difficult to understand.

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