Review: My Bad Tequila
Buenos Dias Amigas y Amigos: Listen carefully: For those of you that think going on Spring Break and a drinking binge is the right way to celebrate when school is out. Think Again: My Bad Tequila is not about a drink gone sour or a wild night with friends. It is about one man’s journey dealing with many difficult situations that turned out to be not quite what he expected.
Author Rico Austin brings to light in this very innovative, unique and different novel in the voice of the main character what happens when you forget to stop and think before heading into a situation or dealing with people.
Spring break is what every college student looks forward to after working hard and finally completing their exams. Freedom, fun, sun and of course something cold makes it more enticing. But, when a group of college students take a yellow bus along with chaperones and friends, what happens will change the course and direction of many of these young people’s lives and one young man’s dreams and memories will haunt him for a very long time. One decision will change it all. Welcome to My Bad Tequila. Let’s take the journey back to 1986 and take the bus ride along with Rhett and his friends and find out just what a really Bad Tequila means. As our main character relates many incidents from his childhood you begin to see a pattern in his behavior. Seeming unsure of himself, down on himself and often portrayed as the scapegoat or feeling like a scapegoat, his choices in are not always thought out and his rash and quick decisions result in major consequences that affect others.
Impatient and not really thinking he and one young girl decide to forge ahead on their journey to Club Med and not wait for the local bus with their friends. Hoping into a Chevy Pickup he and one young lady named Barbie begin their trip leaving the others behind. Was this the right move? Wait and see!
As the trip begins and they wind up in the first destination Rhet will learn what happens when he moves too fast and when he deals with wrong people. The author allows the reader to enter his life by recounting many real life situations that happened throughout this cross -country trip and flashing back to many that happened while growing up. Trying to rekindle his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Tina he tells the story of the Christmas Angel, the sadness around his younger brother’s death, the time he decided to blow up a gas tank and the many times he got drunk to sooth his tears and woes. But, nothing left quite an impression as finding out what really happened to his missing friends and one father. The sadness that befell everyone on this trip and the blame placed him sent him over the edge and straight to the Tequila bottle. My Bad Tequila: This seemed like the worst. With Teddy blaming him for what happened and Tina disappearing we are now ready to find out what happens in My Bad Tequila 2.
Real life incidents and emotional outbursts and outpourings you can understand his frustrations, his fears and his anger when everything the goes wrong seems to be his fault even if it’s not. Yet, you have to really like this guy who just wants to make things right, is totally real and human and has a great sense of humor.
As the author allows the reader into his real life, he relates incidents that affected him as he flashes back to them trying to rekindle his romance with Tina. Losing his younger brother Steven, the sadness around Christmas time, gifts from the Christmas Angel and his idea to blow up a gas tank, are all ways our author allows us to understand and get to know him better. Drawing the reader directly into the story as if he is speaking directly to you. Understanding his thought processes, his wrong choices and several made for him, we flash forward to the present what really happened to his friends, the dad chaperone and many others. Blamed for the incident and despondent that all return to their normal lives but what happens next will change his forever as Tina disappears and Rhet is blamed.
Choices are yours to make and sometimes things happen that are beyond your control and you wonder why after the fact. With Tina’s disappearance and no corpse or body found, Rhet is arrested and the rest you can find out for yourself when you take the journey in Part Two along with him to find out the end result and where he winds up. But, Rhet is not one to give up on himself and rather than feel sorry, act downtrodden and give up he rises above, stands on his own two feet and does something to try and vindicate himself at least in his own mind. Where he goes, how he winds up and where life finally took him back then and where he is now comes together at the end of the story. Things come full circle for him, he makes a few more mistakes but what really makes this true story amazing is the honesty and forthrightness and straightforward manner of its delivery.
The fishing trips, the girls on the beach, the betrayals of his friends, the mistreatment, misunderstandings, the hurt you can hear in his voice his frustrations and his fears all come through loud and clear in this well written journey of a group of college students who just wanted to have some fun and enjoy life. The cover of the book sort of hides the character’s face and the expression and the bloodshot eyes says it all. Hiding your demons and expressing your anger and finding his way back to where he should be. What really happened to Tina? This Amiga would never tell. What really happens to our Rhet and what is his final fate? Where did life take him when all was said and done? Flashing back in his mind to where it all started where would he find his answers? What will happen when he does?
My Bad Tequila is one Great Novel that all teens, high school kids, college kids and adults should read in order to find out what happens when Spring break turns into more than just bad tequila and one young man named Rhet Austen learns many hard lessons that others need to learn today. Drinking: Not when driving. Spring break: Think before you decide to go and know you fellow travelers. This is one book that sends powerful messages to the reader. Betrayals that will surprise the reader and deceits that comes to light at the end. Rico: thank you for sharing your story with me. Thank you for asking me to review your book. If and when this becomes a movie I want front row seats right next to you.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
I give this book: Four True Amigos and One Amiga that would be me.