I wasn't sure about this one at first--trying to decide if Sitomer was going to go the Mark Twain route with writing dialect. As the read progressed, however, the story took over and it got better. Or I got past the language; I'm not sure which.
I can't help but wonder, however, if there is background that readers would have had they read Sitomer's other novels, Hoopster and Hip-Hop High School first. I get the feeling that the characters first appear there, and this story is a continuation in the same universe. That also might explain the exposition at the beginning that I had a hard time getting through.
I'm not sure if the ending is realistic either, but it is hopeful.
I did have one student who started the novel last semester (before he lost it) and he was pretty into it. So much so that he decided he wanted to take it to his English class for SSR. I can appreciate that.
If you've read and liked Homeboyz, you might also like Street Pharm by Allison van Diepen (link option is broken, so here's a link to a synopsis on Goodreads: http://goo.gl/aFHc).