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Bridgetown High Paperback – October 7, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
This one starts out with a bang. The main character of our story Mark, loses his family in a fatal car accident. He goes to live with his grandmother and has to start over at a new school. The beginning is tragic and the story kept its momentum all the way to the end. It’s a story full of love, anger, revenge, drugs, death and more. And it all happens in high school.
The author does a great job of weaving a tail of what life in the 1960’s was like. My only downfall, and I put this on myself, is that the author really took to heart how the dialogue was written in this story. They did a good job of showcasing how people speak when English is not their native language. And I found myself having to get out of correction mode and just read the story.
This story did have me hooked from beginning to end. I don’t want to give anything away, but I can say that love, drama, action, suspense, and even mystery played a part and I loved every word.
This is a good novel in the young adult genre and the author has a great understanding of the teenage years with all their complicated emotions involving friendships, love interests, and learning where one belongs in the swirling sea of on again-off again romances. I found the minute details of who was going to the Junior Prom with whom somewhat tiring, but I understand the method behind the madness. I also questioned whether seniors would go the Junior Prom at all, but traditions may be different on the west coast where the story takes place and the east coast where I attended high school over a quarter century ago.
I liked the emphasis on forgiveness from a Christian standpoint. I enjoyed the parental wisdom of Mark’s grandmother, who courageously takes over the care of Mark and his sister while dealing with the death of her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild. She often quotes her mother and one of the best is “’what we see today as a tragedy, we may look back at tomorrow as a blessing’”. Of course Mark balks at this advice, but the reader hopes he will one day accept what has happened and begin to enjoy life again. He does, and the reader gets to go along for the ride.
I gave this novel four stars because I felt the ending, which I will not reveal, left the reader asking too many questions. The book is enjoyable and exciting but I felt the author didn’t take enough time to tighten all the threads. That said, this book is worth the read and stays true to the genre with no profanity or sexual content, though some of the characters use alcohol and drugs. There is some violence, but no more than is seen in any television program. I highly recommend it for adults and young people alike.
It is hard to believe that this book is this author’s debut novel. I have to say the author’s note referencing that the setting behind this story takes place in the mid-1960’s, had me nervous going in. However, I have to be honest, the way this author wrote this story I didn’t feel lost or unaware of the surroundings within. The start to this story nearly broke my heart. AND THAT WAS ONLY THE FIRST PAGE! After that I knew I would not be able to put this book down. The story is told in multiple POV’s which I happened to enjoy a great deal.
I do not want to say much or give anything away because this one needs to be read going in blindly. I will say, once I got to that Aha moment I was floored. I really enjoyed the how the author used words, landmarks and life events to describe a setting or scene so that I really could imagine how it was in the 60’s. I can tell that this author researched a lot and put a lot of effort into this book. The conversations and language used in the book is how I would have expected it to be like in the 60’s. Like the close family unit, people’s view points on the Vietnam War and music.
Mark’s pain, anguish, grief, rage and guilt over the loss of his parents and sister is felt on every page. I can’t imagine losing my family in such a tragic way, but his author was able to have me emotionally connect so much that I felt like I was there with him sharing his pain. Mark’s need for revenge of the person responsible for their death was palpable. The three characters that surround this book were very well developed. Mark, Gina and Jeff each have a story to tell and while their lives are connected in some way. As the year unfolds secrets, manipulation and danger will follow the lives of these 3 teenagers.
I got more than what I imagined I would have when I started this book. The drama and angst level was over the top. If you love a book that has drama, action, suspense, jealously and fast cars than this is your book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to see what this author brings us next.