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Godspeed

26 Dec

Godspeed(PICK IT)

Author: Dan Chabot

Genre: Romance

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 297

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 3/5 Stars

A melancholy tale about love and loss that barely skates by on the entertainment scale.

__________________Positives__________________

*Well written story and characters     *Interesting premise

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Overall story is forgettable

…Never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me…it will whisper your name.” Derry and Amedee have a romance that rivals all the greats, from Caesar and Cleopatra to Romeo and Juliet.  However, like some great romances, theirs is destined for a tragic end. This will set Derry on a quest that he hopes will heal his pain and help others in return. With only good intentions, he sets off to positively change a very depressing aspect of our society.

This story sails along with a good batch of comical characters and a mildly interesting premise that I cannot reveal without giving too much away. It’s interesting how everything fits together like a puzzle at the end of the book because sprinkled between the chapters about the main story of Derry’s life are mini stories about various funeral ceremonies. The point of these stories comes to light at the end of the book, of course. The author does have talent because the story is clear and has an easy flow about it just like the peaceful lake on the cover of the book.

However, when all is said and done the story is not something I would jump up and down about. There is maybe one tragic part mid-way through the story that really grabs the reader, but beyond that the story is just a notch above being described as dry. While the main character does take up a somewhat interesting quest after this tragic event, the whole story just felt too hum drum. It was as if I had fallen into this “reading coma” where I knew nothing completely exciting or no new incredible revelation would be discovered by the end of the book. I appreciate the author’s story about kindness, moving beyond loss, and helping others, but I look for more excitement in my reading then that. The main character’s act is a bit questionable in terms of how realistic it would be and the possible negative outcome it could have.

Godspeed is a nice story with nice characters and gives you a nice little glow after reading it. That’s all it really measures up too though, being a nice novel. The author has the talent to put together a great story which is evident in the thought and care that was given to this one. As a book it was an ok read but against the books I have read or will read, it probably won’t stand the test of time or my memory.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

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Winning the City Redux

12 Dec

Winning The City(PICK IT)

Author: Theodore Weesner

Genre: Contemporary Fiction YA

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 277

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 4/5 Stars

A story about rising above adversity when the odds are against you and navigating the murky waters of adolescence.

__________________Positives__________________

*Dueling story lines that keep the reader engaged     *Makes reading about basketball interesting for a non-fan

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Annoying character dialogue

For playing it cool is the only tool…if you’re out to win the city.” Dale Wheeler has been waiting all summer to return to school and show off his polished basketball skills. This is his big year to be co-captain of both his school team and the district team, and he dreams of winning it all. However, when an influential family moves to town, Dale finds himself kicked off the district team in favor of the family’s wealthy sons. Dale has to overcome the hurt from his unfair treatment and he has to find some way to get to the championships through another district team from the wrong side of the tracks. At the same time, Dale finds himself consumed by a taboo relationship that begins to develop with his attractive home room teacher.

I thoroughly enjoyed Weesner’s other book I reviewed, The Car Thief, but basketball is one of my least favorite sports so I wasn’t at all excited to read a whole book that seemed to be dedicated to the sport. I should’ve trusted my gut, though, that Weesner would provide me with an entertaining read because that’s just what happened. The story isn’t really about basketball at all. A strong portion of the plot surrounds Dale’s inappropriate feelings for his home room teacher and how he goes about expressing those feelings, which makes for a very interesting story. And the other half of the story is equally exciting as the reader watches Dale become ostracized by his schoolmates because he has been left off his team and because he doesn’t have the same well off family life as most of them do. These dueling story lines lead to a nail biter of a conclusion involving an energized basketball game between Dale’s new team and his old one. I would never have been interested in reading about a basketball game if there hadn’t been such a fascinating story leading up to it.

The book was mostly a hit with me, but there was one aspect of it that did bother me. Throughout the story, Dale and some of the other characters make rhymes in the dialogue, like this line: Time to show the speed, do the deed, take the lead! It just seemed so corny and took away from the gritty feel of the author’s writing. I get that the rhymes could be a mechanism to help get the reader into the mind of a ninth grader, but I think the story would’ve had the exact same effect without it.

Even so, this is another great book from Weesner. If you couldn’t tell from the last time I reviewed him, he is definitely an author that I suggest checking out. His books really make you think about society’s problems and how they affect young people. And I’ve observed after reading two of his books that he doesn’t really give you the happy ever after ending that most authors do which can be frustrating because you want the main character to finally be rewarded for all he has suffered through. However, Weesner’s endings are more realistic. Life goes on, it’s not always fair, but there is always the promise of tomorrow.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

The Joy of Deception and Other Stories

2 Dec

Joy of Deception(PICK IT)

Author: Gretchen Johnson

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 162

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 5/5 Stars

A hilarious and entertaining collection of short stories that make this book impossible to put down.

__________________Positives__________________

*Generous collection of short stories     *Each story is unique and creative     *Excellent characters and story crafting

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Some of the story plots were not something I’d find interesting

“I was afraid. I knew I had to get out somehow, but I didn’t know which door to use or which direction to walk once I passed through.” There are eighteen different short stories that make up The Joy of Deception. They tell the stories of small town people in places like Fargo, and there are a plethora of characters who each have their own entertaining appeal, from the pushy, chess master wannabe to the frighteningly bipolar diner owner. Some characters seek a future in a bigger world outside of their small town, while others are content to while away their  time with their one true pleasure.

 Since each short story is so creative and the characters are so fascinating, this book was impossible to put down. Johnson gives the reader a good amount of stories in this book so there should definitely be something for everyone to enjoy. The stories themselves range from three to a little over thirty pages so you get a mixture of long and short tales. While the stories are centered around life in a small town, every problem the various characters face is universal no matter where you live. I loved how completely different each story was and none of them ever felt like she put any less effort into it then the previous story. There is always some interesting twist or revelation at the end. But what really makes this book are her characters. There are some of the most annoying but fascinating characters in this collection, including one who can’t stop himself from lying. In the short stories where you had characters like him, you didn’t want the story to end once you hit that last page.

Overall this book was great from start to finish. The only thing I did notice was that some stories were not as interesting to me because of their subject and it brought down the reading experience for me. One, for example, was about a food eating contest which just doesn’t interest me in the least. Since I knew these stories had interesting endings and that once I was finished I could move on to a completely new story in the next chapter, I found myself rushing through the current story just to be done with it. And even after finding out the ending of those stories, I found them to be the least interesting compared to the rest.

However, this book is a quick read that anyone could easily finish in one sitting. It’s funny and lighthearted, and I was really impressed with the quality of stories in this book, especially considering how many Johnson has written. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something to change-up their usual choices for reading. The simple entertainment that comes from so many different stories is sure to give you the motivation and inspiration to jump into whatever you plan on conquering next.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

Lily: An American Fable

29 Nov

(SKIP IT)

Author: Samuel Bagby

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 140

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 2/5 Stars

A dark look into the potentially selfish minds of men.

__________________Positives__________________

*Interesting look into the mind of a teen/adult male

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Hardly any dialogue     *Writing style isn’t for everyone     *Depressing plot

 It was really the case that Flashman desired to be perceived as what he at heart thought he had the potential to be – God’s gift to women.” Stephen Flashman has only one train of thought and one mission that drives him through life. His mission is to have sex. He can’t get enough of it and admires every aspect of the opposite sex to the point of obsession. When the time comes, can Flashman rise above his need for intercourse and manage to care about something other than himself?

This book was interesting to say the least. It is written entirely from the mind of the main character and what the reader finds there is appalling. He is selfish, self-serving, calculating, manipulative, and his heart is almost completely void of all feeling for others. This is because he is willing to do almost anything and be anyone if it means being able to seduce a woman into having sex. However, anyone that has had any interaction with the male species knows that almost every man has a one track mind when it comes to sex. It seems as if Flashman is the epitome of all the worst characteristics of men when it comes to the desire for sex and how they can potentially view woman. This look into the male mind was a bit humorous and enlightening for a woman, even if it is pure fiction.

However, the character never changes his ways and it makes for a depressing read. To be fair, Flashman didn’t have a great father figure and his high school experience wasn’t the best, but eventually people grow and develop as they get older. It just didn’t seem realistic that this character could be consistently horrible throughout his life in regards to his view of women. On top of that, the book didn’t really have any dialogue which really would’ve added a lot to the story. The writing style is also very specific and suggests that the author is an avid reader of the classics. I have no problem with that; I’m an avid reader of the classics as well. However, there are only so many people who can handle, say, the prose used by Jane Austen. The sentences in this book were some of the longest I’ve ever seen in my life, and I needed the relief of a period every once and awhile.

It was difficult because I was interested throughout the entire book, but once all was said and done, it just fell flat overall. I kept expecting something more to happen, but the character remains steadfast in his beliefs and the only earth shattering event of the story, which gives the book its title, isn’t given enough room to flesh out and leave an impression.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

Dead Ringer

9 Nov

(PICK IT)

Author: Allen Wyler

Genre: Thriller

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 324

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 4/5 Stars

An eerie thriller that builds on an exciting story towards a disappointing conclusion.

__________________Positives__________________

*Creepy plot     *Great buildup of suspense

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Hasty conclusion

“The right choice is the one that provides the greatest good.” Dr. Lucas McCrae is shocked when  he finds his best friend’s head  on the cadaver table where he was about to perform a medical demonstration in Hong Kong. Upon returning to his Seattle home, he discovers his friend is missing and that a funeral business may be murdering innocent people in order to sell their body parts for medical research. With the help of a beautiful cop named Wendy Elliot and a gangster named Luis Ruiz, who suspects his sister might have also become a victim of the funeral home, Lucas must try to find justice for his friend.

Unlike Dead End Deal, another Wyler book I have read and reviewed for this blog, this story doesn’t wait to let loose. From chapter one the mystery begins. Finding your best friend’s head or really anyone’s head that you care about on your demonstration table is such a frightening and brilliant plot idea. Add the fact that the main character is having distracting marital problems and you have a very interesting book that ties all the side stories to the main plot perfectly. The buildup of suspense is ideal; it doesn’t go overboard to get your attention and it’s perfectly spaced out through the book. I was really excited that this book didn’t have the same problems I thought Dead End Deal had, and you really see Wyler’s talent for combining his medical knowledge with creative writing in this book.

However, this nearly perfect book utterly fails in the conclusion. Wyler creates this intricate storyline for how the funeral home and the missing people all relate to each other. It also has been a huge struggle for the main character and his allies to find proof of the funeral home’s crimes. And then in one quick and easy moment, it’s all over. Compared to the rest of the story, the conclusion is just not that creative. My issue is that based on the way the conclusion played out, this could’ve happened at anytime in the story. It’s the obvious, easy-out to wrap up the story. I don’t think the buildup of the story made it that complex to the point that the author couldn’t have found a decent way to end it.

As I read through the story, I thought I had finally found a 5/5 star Allen Wyler book. I couldn’t put it down and I really wanted to see how the author would end the story. It’s very disappointing because the book is great except for the last twenty pages. However, the conclusion of the book is just as important as any other part, and you can’t skimp on the writing at this point unless you want the novel to fall flat at the grand finale.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

Timeless Desire

1 Nov

(SKIP IT)

Author: Gwyn Cready

Genre: Romance

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 368

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 2/5 Stars

A sexy time travel love story that can’t quite reach its potential.

__________________Positives__________________

*Unpredictable plot twists     *Satisfying romance story

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Dull beginning     *Confusing feel of story     *Story felt outlandish

“Good lord. I’ve fallen into another world, in another time, and what I’m most unnerved by is meeting the man depicted by a statue.”  Panna Kennedy is a widowed librarian who stumbles upon a portal to eighteenth-century England. Like any modern-day woman with a love for classic, historical romance novels, she is beside herself when she meets the rugged, handsome owner of the castle she is transported to. However, Panna also discovers she’s entered into a tumultuous time in English/ Scottish history when a war between these two bordering nations seems probable. Should she entangle herself in this conflict or abandon the man she is falling in love with for a safe return to her own time?

I can’t deny that this book wasn’t completely unenjoyable for me. Without revealing anything, there were many plot twists that are completely unpredictable which was a nice surprise since romance books can come across as predictable and I thought this book might follow that disappointing road. It really made the book pick up its pace and take it beyond the romantic story between Panna and her rugged hero Jamie Bridgewater. It was also a nice surprise, especially after reading Fifty Shades of Grey, to find that the romance scenes between Panna and Jamie were well written and not overdone. The book is not packed with pages and pages of scenes documenting the relations between the two characters which was a huge relief for me. I have no problem with these kind of scenes but they can get very repetitive and a bit ridiculous after a while. I mean, there are only so many metaphors and synonyms someone could use to describe this act. Cready depicts the characters’ romance in a way that should satisfy lovers of romance novels.

That being said, I ultimately couldn’t get behind the main plot, which I can’t even describe other than what I’ve described in the beginning of my review without giving away too many of the plot twists. I understand the story is fiction and about time travel which means that it’s not based in reality, but some events that happen to Panna just seemed strained and I couldn’t believe some of the things she agreed to do in the name of “love.” Essentially the story takes place over a matter of days and even in a fictional world I can’t believe that a woman would so easily fall for someone, especially with the baggage she holds from losing her husband. I also had trouble discerning what type of story the author was putting on. For me, a romance novel falls into several categories as far as the feel goes; it can be extremely erotic and sex-driven i.e.  Fifty Shades of Grey, sexy historical fiction like something from Philippa Gregory, humorous chick-lit like the witty Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson, prim and proper Jane Austen type fiction, or something with more serious undertones like a Sparks novel. Cready’s book jumps between all of these categories so I had a hard time figuring out what the author wanted the book to feel like. Humorous jaunt into eighteenth century England or daring time travel adventure? For some reason the book just didn’t come together for me. And the fact that it takes so long to get into the action of the story because of a dull introduction that expects you to immediately connect to the main characters makes the book even harder for me to endorse.

This book had promise with its use of time travel and the eighteenth century. What’s even more disappointing is that the author and I probably share a common love for similar works of literature based on her references to various books and famous characters in the novel. Even so, this could not save the story for me in the least. I wanted to recommend the story because I love time travel, romance, and the setting of eighteenth century England, but unfortunately, this story cannot stand up against other books I’ve read that use these same themes.

Grab your copy of Timeless Desire here:

http://astorandblue.com/timeless-desire-an-outlander-love-story/

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

Twelve Months

14 Oct

(PICK IT)

Author: Steven Manchester

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 323

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 3/5 Stars

A book that slowly shows you how short life is and that every second should be treasured.

__________________Positives__________________

*Strong connection to the characters     *Universally positive message

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Doesn’t have much spark until the end

‘We’re only here for a short time,’ I told them. ‘So be happy, chase your dreams, and do more laughing than worrying.’” Don DiMarco is blessed to be living the “American dream.” He is married to the woman of his dreams, has a loving daughter, and two beautiful grandchildren. However, when he is diagnosed with cancer it seems like his perfect world is about to come crashing down. Instead of wasting what time he has left, Don spends his last year attempting to complete his bucket list and creating memories with the people he loves.

Usually I use this paragraph to talk about the positives of a book and the next one to rattle off the negatives, but for this review I think I’ll do things a little differently. For most of this book I couldn’t help comparing it to other stories like Tuesdays with Morrie that deal with someone coming to terms with their fast-approaching death. Frankly, I wasn’t impressed. Don’t get me wrong, anyone who has to go through a battle with something as difficult as cancer is tragic. However, I didn’t see why this story needed to be told. Each chapter was about some dream trip or experience Don had wanted to try before he died, like becoming a cowboy. It just didn’t have the spark that make books like Tuesdays special.

But the reason I chose to give this book enough stars to warrant a “PICK IT” label are because I found the last few chapters to be extremely moving. Right out from under me, I realized the author had really connected me to the main character and his family. Up until the end of the novel, Don maintains his positive outlook on life and the future. When the book gets the darkest during Don’s struggle with cancer, there is still a ray of sun shine poking through the darkness. It’s heartbreaking to watch Don’s battle but you know from previous chapters he has lived a fuller life then most people ever will. The end is tissue worthy, and I realized if I hadn’t connected to the book, I wouldn’t have felt such strong emotions in the end.

These kind of stories make you want to see the world and experience all you can right now. Who knows if you will become the next Don DiMarco? But would that really be so bad? Cancer is terrible for anyone, but it can change people for the better. The real message is not to wait until something as final as cancer encourages you to help others, follow your dreams, or see life in a new light.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

The Jazz Cage

29 Sep

(PICK IT)

Author: Ray Chen Smith

Genre: Historical Fiction

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 351

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Every single page of this thrilling alternative history novel is literary gold.

__________________Positives__________________

*Deep characters with interesting backgrounds     *Constant action     *Unique premise

___________________Negatives_____________________

*More than a few grammatical errors

It is May 1924. Sixty years have passed since the Confederacy won the War of Southern Independence…” Della and Cece are two runaway slaves who are relying on the almost extinct Underground Railroad to make their escape to Canada and find freedom. Frank McCluey is  a bounty hunter for the mob whose job is to track down the two runaways and return them to their vile owner. But Frank experiences a change of heart that has to do with his dislike of his employer, as much as with what has happened to him in the past. Now Frank has to try to help these two women make it to Canada while avoiding the wrath of the mob, who he’s betrayed, a bloodthirsty agent from the Fugitive Slave Agency, and ruthless slave catchers.

A story on its own about runaway slaves can be interesting, but if you throw in the mob and the fact that this story is set in an alternate universe where the Confederates won the Civil War, you have yourself a book that is nearly impossible to put down. The premise is what really hooked me. There are so many books out there about the Underground Railroad but I have yet to read one like Smith’s that looks at the organization after the Civil War with a Southern victory. Another great discovery was that all the main characters in the book are well-developed with their own mysterious backgrounds; learning about their past becomes a thrilling side story in and of itself. And as if that wasn’t enough, every chapter throws action scenes and plot twists at you that move the story and don’t feel like they are just trying to keep the reader’s attention.  The story just flows together so perfectly that each cliffhanger really does make you question if the characters will make it out alive of the next car chase or shootout.

My one and only qualm with the book were the grammatical errors that kept popping up. For a self-published author it can be difficult to catch that kind of stuff since they don’t have the resources that the publishing industry has. However, you do need to be on top of your game when it comes to cleaning up your story if you’re going to self publish and there were a bit too many errors for my taste. However, I really had no other negatives in regards to this book. If a story can get 5/5 stars on its review then clearly the issue of grammatical errors is one that can be overlooked.

I was really blown away by how much I enjoyed this book. I feel bad even mentioning the grammatical errors because I have so much respect for a self published author who can create brilliant work like this without the help of a publishing house. The Jazz Cage is definitely a must read and I hope everyone checks it out. If we’re lucky, hopefully the literary world will be seeing more from this talented author.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

The Darkening Dream

16 Sep

(PICK IT)

Author: Andy Gavin

Genre: Fantasy YA

First Published: 2011

Page Count: 379

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 3/5 Stars

A dark fantasy novel that packs a paranormal punch.

__________________Positives__________________

*Creative blend of religious lore and a variety of mythical creatures     *Darkness of the story gives it an edge

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Complicated core story      *Unsatisfying conclusion

The horn sounds our sacrifice. My death, your blood, your death, my blood.” Sarah Engelmann begins to have horrific, bloody visions that all have one common factor, the loud drone of a distant horn. With her two friends, Anne and Sam, and an attractive new neighbor named Alex, Sarah must try to discover what her visions mean. Her journey will lead her to discover that vampires, warlocks, demons, and a myriad of powerful religious figures exist in the real world and are all descending on her town, Salem, Massachusetts.

I love a good vampire story; I always have and I always will. They all might have different plots but the feeling you get reading them is the same because they all share core elements such as a vampire being  immortal and centuries old, or, whether it’s a romantic or horror driven story, they all still have to drink blood. But this book felt completely different from any vampire story I’ve ever read. It has the core elements a vampire story should but Gavin also populates his fictional world with power-hungry Egyptian gods, wanton demons, and notable religious figures. I absolutely loved how he meshed all the different lore together because I’ve never seen anything have such a mixture of cultures before. It really moves the story along because you never know what mythical creature could pop up next. The story also, at first, had the feeling of a subdued teen paranormal novel. However, there are more than a few dark twists that transform it into a much grimmer and exciting story.

Though Gavin seamlessly weaves together all the different lore to create a complex fictional world, he can’t seem to seamlessly pull off his equally complex storyline. At first it seems clear what the villains of the story want, and what the protagonist must do to stop them. However, somewhere in the middle the story gets muddled with too many flashbacks and characters whose purpose becomes confusing and causes the story to lose its clarity.  It seemed like for the sake of having more action, there were scenes that happen in the book which felt climatic but really weren’t the climax, sped by too fast, were too easily resolved, or just left me feeling plain unsatisfied for some reason that I couldn’t quite grasp. Maybe it was a bit of all of the above? The conclusion was a great example of my dissatisfaction. It was definitely interesting, but I didn’t like it. It felt like the book was leading up to some epic scene, but I have no clue where that scene went. It just ends at a dead halt and I was left with the feeling of “ohhhh ok.”

For the paranormal elements alone this book is worth a read. It goes by fast and the plot knows how to move. However, it could have been better and you can almost see how great this story would’ve been if it had taken some different turns. While the ending is not boring in the least, it is up to you to decide whether it’s a satisfying conclusion.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

The Car Thief

2 Sep

(PICK IT)

Author: Theodore Weesner

Genre: Contemporary Fiction YA

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 387

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 4/5 Stars

A young man’s coming of age story that can easily stand beside the classics.

__________________Positives__________________

*Good flow between flashbacks and current story     *Interesting, ever-changing plot

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Slow beginning

Alex was sixteen; the Buick was his fourteenth car.” After a spree of car thefts, Alex Housman finds himself facing serious charges that could send him away to a school for juvenile delinquents. However, his life has never been very  rosy to begin with. His father constantly drinks, his mother is a mystery to him, and he doesn’t fit in at school. Separated from his younger brother and facing common teen trials like bullying, Alex must overcome his troubled past in order to find his place in the world.

I’ve never been a fan of male coming of age stories; I just can’t relate to them at all. However, Weesner’s book and the character he created had me hooked. I enjoyed the way the plot moved because Alex Housman is constantly getting into difficult situations, whether it is from his actions or another’s, and you can’t help but root for him to succeed. The mix of flashbacks to his childhood only add to the reader’s attachment to the character because you know he wasn’t raised with a cookie-cutter childhood. I find most main characters in coming of age stories to be extremely irritating with their practically bipolar mood swings and negativity, and while Alex Housman has plenty of those, his story was far more interesting than any part of say, The Catcher in the Rye, to me.

The one thing that did make this story difficult was the beginning. I couldn’t immediately get into the story because it starts out smack dab in the middle of one of his car thefts. At this point the character seems cold and unfeeling in his urgency to  swipe whatever vehicle he can get his hands on. It’s after you start learning more about his childhood and his current family life that you begin to feel for the character. However, that doesn’t flesh out until the middle of the story, so for a while I just felt like I was along for the ride while I tried to understand this complex character and his motivations for acting out the way he does.

Once you’re into the novel, you can’t help but be consumed by its story. It’s never clear whether the main character is actually ever going to reform which keeps you guessing to the very end and even after the book is closed. Weesner did something that I was fairly certain would never happen for me; he wrote a male coming of age story that I actually enjoyed. Alex Housman is the Holden Caulfield for our generation.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.