Review of ‘Sucktown, Alaska’ by Craig Dirkes

Sucktown, AlaskaSucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A contemporary coming-of-age novel set in a tiny-and quirky-town in Alaska, that unfortunately did not live up to my expectation.

Eddie Ashford is eighteen, and has just managed to flunk out of his first semester of college in Anchorage, Alaska. In an attempt to get some work experience in journalism-which could possibly help him in his effort to reenroll in school by showing that he is ready to be a student again-he gets hired as a reporter by the owner of a small paper in the remote town of Kusko.
It doesn’t take long for Eddie to want to go back to Anchorage, what with all the crazy Alaskan experiences and stupid situations he ends up in, but several things hold him back: the lack of money to actually get him out of Kusko, his new very chill friend Finn, and Taylor, the very smart and beautiful girl he’s just started falling for.
But even with his burgeoning friendships, and the chance of a possible romance, the idea of leaving his always on his mind.

Being an Alaskan who has lived in small-town Alaska, and currently living in Anchorage (which is the biggest city my state has to offer), I was super interested in reading a book that is set in my state. Also, I have to admit that I wanted to read it so that I could possibly find any factual errors or Alaskanisms that may have been misused, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the author knew what he was talking about, having had actually lived in bush Alaska (which is any region of the state that is not connected to the North American road system), thus helping give the story some credence.

But now for the bad. (And unfortunately, there is a lot of it.)

It’s obvious Eddie is extremely immature, considering he had flunked out his first semester of college due to all the partying he did, so it’s really no surprise when he says and does stupid things. A lot.
There’s also the cringe-worthy way he views poor Taylor. He goes on and on about how attractive she is and also gives crude descriptions of how his body reacts to her, while mentioning the parts of her he likes…gross.
I can’t even say if I actually remember him speaking of attraction that isn’t physical when it comes to her. Then when his feelings aren’t quite returned, he gets mad and wants to end his “friendship” with her. He’s just extremely ridiculous when it comes to how he treats her; I’m surprised she’s even interested in being friends with him. Sheesh.

Finally, as we’re getting closer to the end of the book, big things happen, which are supposedly meant to be “life lessons” for Eddie, but by this point, I was ready for this book to be over. I wasn’t interested in reading about big life lessons anymore. I was pretty much satisfied with assuming that Eddie was an idiot who’d continue on in his own stupid world. The end.

So the last 25% ended up feeling like author remembered the end was coming up and needed to wrap up the story somehow-big life lessons-type of somehow-hence all the crazy that suddenly goes down. But as I’d already said, I was ready for it to be done, so I was not impressed, nor interested.

Anyway, this book was alright in the sense of it being a coming-of-age novel, but Eddie was just so unlikable for me, that I could not really like this book.

Sorry, but not one I’ll recommend.

Thank you to Switch Press who provided this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews


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