…Music has the power to change their identities. “People only like us when we sing together,” Squito says early in the story. “When we sing they see us as a group, not a gang, but we always see ourselves as a group, not a gang.” In contrast, the transcendence of sex is individual – from boy to man. On the novel’s first night, their singing proves popular to an audience of high school girls from the nearby town of Ashcroft, but their cohesion does not outlast the performance. The group’s lives are essentially disharmonious, spurring the central conflict….
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