One Man’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

Original publish date: 22 December 2014

Life can be pretty crappy, but especially when you’re a teenager. Particularly when you’re a teenager like 17 year-old Trevor McNulty in Alex Tully’s Hope for Garbage.

Trevor’s family is essentially nonexistent, which leaves him to live with his Uncle Gary, who isn’t the most friendly or kind. As a coping mechanism for his less than stellar living environs, Trevor seeks refuge in the Box, his utility shed where he refurbishes things that others throw away into something that is fully functional and useful. But Trevor doesn’t seek to make a profit off of his work; rather he donates it to local charity homes, particularly children’s toys. Trevor is aided in his endeavor by the local garbage man Frank and his elderly neighbor Tom Tyminski, a.k.a. Mr. T. Mr. T. helps Trevor in many ways, but one of which is encouraging him to go to therapy to help deal with the familial issues that plague him, despite Trevor’s disdain for Dr. Fisher and talking about his problems. And on top of all that’s going on in Trevor’s life, he meets a girl, Bea, which only serves to complicate his life further.

The story itself followed typical conventions often associated with YA literature. Trevor is made relatable with his reluctance to fully trust adults and his romantic trials and tribulations with Bea. There are darker psychological issues that are addressed through Trevor’s visits to therapy, his dreams, and life experiences that are a direct result of his mother’s actions. The text has a sort of roaming third person omniscient point of view that alternates through the primary characters of the story to help provide a more comprehensive image of the events taking place. 

Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.


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