Review: "The Brothers Torres" by Coert Voorhees

In my last attendance at the Boldface Confrence this year, I met author Coert Voorhees for a consultation on my young adult fiction manuscript. His wisdom and guidence on my piece was so helpful that naturally I had to pick up a copy of one of his books. I am happy to report that I am more than satisfied with doing so as The Brothers Torres is an enjoyable ride from beginning to end and is as heartfelt as it is exciting.

Frankie Towers has always looked up to his older brother, Steve. And with good reason-Steve is a popular senior who gets whatever he wants: girls, a soccer scholarship, and-lately-street cred. Frankie, on the other hand, spends his time shooting off fireworks with his best friend, Zach, working at his parents' restaurant, and obsessing about his crush, Rebecca Sanchez.

Although Frankie has some reservations, he doesn't spend much time thinking about Steve's crusade to win the respect of the local cholos. Then Frankie gets into a fistfight with John Dalton-longtime nemesis of Steve's, and the richest, preppiest kid in their New Mexican high school. After the fight, Steve takes Frankie under his wing, and Frankie' social currency begins to rise. The cholos who used to ignore him start to recognize him; he even lands a date to Homecoming with Rebecca.

But after another incident with Dalton, Steve is bent on retaliating. Frankie starts to think that his brother may be taking this respect thing too far. Soon he'll have to make a choice between respecting his brother and respecting himself.

An honest and humorous debut novel, Coert Voorhees examines what it means for a young man to come of age. A compelling look at where loyalty ends and independence begins.

Voorhees writes a heart wrenching coming of age story of a boy who navigates the turbulent stages of advancing from boyhood to manhood. Frankie is a relatable and charming young boy who struggles to find his place in the world all while balancing the pressures of school, family and the oh-so forboding lifestyle of Steve's Cholo brothers. The book is a sensation of betrayal, suspicion and fear of a world where self-exploration is the only available guidance one can have in a tough world.

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