I already reviewed this on Goodreads, but I just want to add...
After reading scores of YA and MG novels (in and out of this book club), I've come to realize how difficult it can be for a writer to give their young protagonist an authentic voice. Too much angst can come across whiny and annoying, giving birth to an unlikable character. Yes, birth. This problem has killed many a YA book for me (I'm not naming names Graceling ahem). Too little angst, and the character can seem inauthentic or 2-dimensional. It's a fine line, mi amigos. In my professional book club opinion, Doug Swieteck walked that fine line perfectly, not a single misstep. Doug is what made this book so great. Because if all that stuff would have happened to some random kid that didn't seem so dang real, I wouldn't have cared half as much.
Captain Peter Blood
Let's discuss now, shall we?