I really didn't expect much from this book. A friend who read the paperback version told me about it, and I was immediately suspicious because it was self-published. But given my friend's strong recommendation, I figured it was worth a 3-dollar risk. Boy, was I surprised! My friend was right, as were the two previous reviewers on this site. This is an exceptional story, a real "page turner" as folks like to say. It's definitely a gritty story, and parents shouldn't let their kids read it. And I'll admit that some of the adult material made me squirm a little, but it wasn't gratuitous. It was essential to the story and gave insight into the characters, and looking at the big picture, it added an important layer. I'm planning to buy a hard copy and read it again, and I have NO problem whatsoever recommending this incredible debut novel to anyone who can handle adult material, including language, violence, and sex. I love this incredible story!