57 pages 1 hour read

Randy Ribay

After the Shot Drops

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2018

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The Trap of Poverty

Throughout the novel, the reality of life for the lower-middle class and the impoverished is evident. The novel demonstrates the struggles facing teens and their families trying to survive precarious financial times, along with the difficulty of escaping the poverty cycle.

One of the main struggles is the pressure and stress that poverty or a lower-middle-class existence places on the teenagers of the novel, although their struggles are not equal and they respond to them in different ways. For example, the furnace in Bunny’s apartment is broken, so he and his family are enduring a cold apartment during a cold late winter/early spring. Additionally, he sees less of his family than he would like because his mom works graveyard shifts at the hospital and his father works nights at the bookstore. Surveying his situation, he notes, “I know there are people out there who got it worse than we do, but there’s people who got it better, too. A lot better, and they’re probably not even working as hard” (11). While Bunny’s plan for lifting his family out of poverty relies on his ambition and work ethic, his family’s situation shows that personal responsibility is not enough to guarantee success. Despite his father’s hard work, his bookstore is failing; though it is a community pillar, it has also been robbed.

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By Randy Ribay

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Randy Ribay

Patron Saints of Nothing

Randy Ribay