Review: Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One

Wednesday 12 October 2016
Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One by T.M. Frazier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Preppy: Complex, damaged, quirky, and yet beautifully unique. This story is both heartbreaking and rewarding as we get to experience the multi-faceted mind of Preppy.

Preppy had an all too brief part to play in the series to date and his demise was a loss that was hard to stomach but now, after a long wait, he’s finally here to tell his story.

This wasn't an easy book to read and will have a number of triggers for the more sensitive of readers (including drug use, violence, sexual abuse) but for me, the edginess to his Preppy’s story was irrepressible. I found his damaged soul beautiful and yet his actions, on occasion, were difficult to accept but after putting the whole story together and into perspective, I can almost see why he acted as he did.
I never knew fear until I met pure evil. He wore a smile and a bow tie.
Andrea aka Dre aka Doc is Preppy’s unexpected salvation. After playing a part in a theft from her grandmother’s house, of Preppy's “plants”, she flees but with her body drug-addled she unable to escape Preppy who is determined to seek revenge against those who wronged him. Dre is too wrecked by heroin to outrun Preppy and soon becomes his puppet as he seeks retribution for her actions. What Preppy doesn’t expect to see in Dre's eyes is their mutual understanding of abuse brought about at the hands of men who sought to hurt them for their own self-fulfilment. We know Preppy had a tough childhood but we come to realise how conflicted he is about the actions of his step-father. Preppy has tried to put his past behind him but with Dre’s experiences still fresh in her mind, Preppy is forced to open wounds which he had assumed to be well healed.
She was the girl I was in love with. The girl I would always be in love with. Until my very last breath.
Together, Preppy forces Dre to make amends for the damage she has inflicted on his business and in doing so blackmails Dre to assist him. Whilst Preppy is torn over Dre, he knows a future between them would be impossible and instead suggests she become one of the BBB’s something that Dre has something to say about. As a result, Bear also makes an appearance, or two, in this story although King is in prison. Whilst the story is written in the past, Preppy’s present also plays a part, albeit at the hands of Bear’s father.

What I did struggle with this story, even having read it with an open mind, is the way Preppy was also culpable in his actions towards Dre. She pushed him away and yet he still took. He also took from her unconscious form which although odious, demonstrated the darkness inside Preppy’s twisted mind, which was clearly brought about at the hands of his abuser.

Despite the highs and lows in this story, it was expertly written and whilst it had a number of sharp edges, it was also enjoyable and for me, possibly the best book in the series to date. Preppy is as always extremely funny and his quips are a definite highlight of this story. This books ends on the inevitable “cliffie” and sets the scene nicely for the next instalment. Readers do need to read this series in order, to experience the story as a whole.

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