Genre – YA
The Traz is a book about choices – you make the right choice, you win; you make the wrong choice, you pay for it. Katrina(her real name) or Sarina (her name on the streets) is a brilliant child of 13 bordering on genius. She has an alcoholic mother and a policeman for a father and she is thus left to her own devices most of the time. She shares a great bond with her grandfather and is left bereft when he dies. Tragedy strikes deeper when her parents are killed in an accident and she is left an orphan, in the care of her father’s friend and his wife who do not really know how to handle her genius. A misfit at school because of her brilliance, she finds solace in meeting up with street gangs.
Katrina’s dealings with the rough side of the street don’t necessarily begin when her parents die. We see her sneaking out whilst her parents are alive and she hopes that no one will tell on her to her father. However, when she is left orphaned, Katrina gets deeper into gang life going off with Shrug – a hulk of a man competing for leadership of the gang the Traz. Befriended by him, she takes off on the back of his motorcycle and gets deeply involved in the gang. Questions surface as to why Shrug is so protective of her and why she continues to stick with him even though he can be quite disparaging of her at times.
One feels sorry for Katrina at times while wanting to shake her for her stubbornness at not going back to the wealthy background she comes from. She is the only woman in a world of men as there are no other women mentioned other than her mother and father’s friend’s wife in very brief roles. Fighting for her survival, I sometimes held my breath wondering what would happen to her next.
I was definitely left wanting for more when I reached the end and quite disappointed that I did not have my questions answered. Being the first in the series, the book is well-written and has a great plot. Also having a school edition, it can be used to make teens aware of the dangers of making bad choices.The series promises to be enthralling and I look forward to reading more from the it.