*I reviewed this book first at my blog Jessy's Bookends.
The Joy & Torture of Joshua James is the story of a kid who moves to a new community. He gets to know her next door neighbors, Jordan and Jessa and everything seems fine, until this girls show him what they are capable of. Joshua is a ragingly hormonal kid who thinks according to his sexual drive. That is why everything goes south for Joshua James. He gets involved with both girls up to a point where he begins to doubt their sanity.
Joshua James makes poor decisions and gives the impression of being a simple minded individual. This is what makes him interesting. Joshua is not the perfect kid character who provides for the idyllic story. His descriptions are raw and in his antihero quality he is real.
Author Julie Duck was on point in changing the story's course. Just when the story gets predictable the characters surprised me. When I had high hopes for the plot the story suddenly quickens in pacing and then it ends. I would have loved to see some suspense in crescendo, the story could have pulled it off.
Overall, I give The Joy & Torture of Joshua James a 3 out of 5. The Main Character is interesting but he doesn't show change at all. Probably, he didn't even learned a lot from his experience and that is why I couldn't develop sympathy towards him. Although, this young adult book is written in that direct way that makes me want to read a book, I see The Joy &Torture of Joshua James as a story that needs more developed characters in conjunction with a more developed chain of events. Joshua James's experiences seemed abbreviated and brief.
I'm a huge fan of Julie Duck. Her books are intense, edgy and page turner YA stories that I can't wait to read. This book is written in Julie Duck's direct edgy style. Nothing is sugar coated therefore be prepared for a frank experience.This YA can be crude and strong for some readers, so I find it suitable for mature readers.