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The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees: Book Review

Updated on December 23, 2010

Coert Voorhees takes on poignant issues facing America’s youth in his novel The Brothers Torres (2008). The young teenage narrator, Frankie, has a lot to say about life in his small New Mexico town where everybody seems to know everybody and life can seem hard. Frankie shapes the tale of his family, his brother’s promising future and the meaning of friendship through a blunt teenage voice.

Frankie is an average boy in nearly every aspect. He’s not too big, not too athletic and doesn’t always do well at school. He works in his parents’ restaurant and spends most of his time thinking about his crush, Rebecca. On the other hand, Frankie’s brother, Steve, is good at everything. He is popular, good looking, and has a way with the ladies. He is also the best soccer player in school and stands a good chance at a scholarship.

When involvement in a gang starts to influence Steve’s choices, Frankie is worried that his brother will ruin the good things he has going for him. A violent and tragic ending does nothing to romanticize involvement in gangs. In fact, seen through Frankie’s eyes, gangs are exposed for their rampant prejudice and needless violence.

Voorhees explores cultural tensions and pressures on young people to become involved in gang activity. Frankie and his brother Steve represent young men who have a lot going for them, but who also want to fit in and be respected. Voorhees paints a realistic and somewhat depressing picture of American life, while telling it in a perfectly fashioned teenage voice.

This novel is a great fit for any student who seems to be surrounded by tough choices and peer pressure. It would appeal to young men who are just entering high school and trying to wade through the complexities of friendships, girls and what it means to fit in.

Fair Warning:

The Brothers Torres contains fighting, inappropriate language, references to alcohol, and references to sex. It may not be appropriate for younger teens.

Books About Gangs and Street Violence


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      erick valdivia 3 years ago

      a very meaningful interesting book!

      I recommend you to read it,

      you will be pleased