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Mayne Attraction: In The Spotlight Paperback – May 3, 2010
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
About the Author
Ann Mauren was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two young sons, within earshot of the King's Island and Miami Valley Railway, the author's favorite attraction at the ride's namesake amusement park.
Top customer reviews
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First, the good stuff.
I found the story idea, if you'll pardon the pun, 'novel'. I liked the narrative very much. It was smooth and engaging. In short, I thought the author did a really good job telling the story. I even liked the little definitions dropped along the way. There were even a few that I didn't know. For those reasons, I gave this a 3-star rating.
It was very slow slogging in the beginning. I expected a romance novel, but this is really a "coming of age" novel. It seemed to take a long time to get to know the heroine. Probably more time than was necessary before anything of note actually happened (that actually had anything to do with the story), however I grew to like Ellery through about 75% of the book.
The not so good things.
The first chapter was an interrogation gone wrong by two bad guys. However, since it was the first chapter I kept wondering when I'd find out who was doing what and why. Alas, that was not to be the case. That first chapter seemed to be from another book or something. We find out later (like we hadn't already guessed), that the sleepwalker in that scene was a young Ellery and the person the bad guys tried to interrogate was her grandfather. Other than that, what was the point of this?
Same thing with an attempted kidnapping of Ellery later in the book. Why did it happen and who were the perpetrators? Again, no answers. Perhaps it was a lame attempt to justify Ellery having a security detail? No, the actual reason for the security is given later in the book and has nothing to do with threats to Ellery.
Maybe I just missed the connection between those two events and the rest of the story. I don't know. Perhaps it is explained in the next two books by the male protagonists. I have no intention of reading those books to find out, however, for the reasons below.
As I said, I liked Ellery through about 75% of the book, but I soon lost all respect and sympathy for her.
Two men are in love with her. She loves one of them and wavers over the other. Which will she choose? Why bother choosing? She can tell one that she loves him while she allows the other to canoodle with her. Until, that is, her conscience can't stand it anymore and runs away from everyone. I said this was a coming of age story, but unfortunately the heroine never quite grew up. She got older, but that was about it. Her solutions to her problems were that of a 12yr old, not an adult woman. It was too bad, too, because I thought she would grow into a strong young lady. She didn't.
I don't like weak women as heroines. Poor Ellery couldn't even think straight if one of the men hugged her. Kissing her seems to turn her brain to complete mush and she has no willpower. It was very vexing.
It was almost as bad as The Mirror of her Dreams by Donaldson. That was probably the most pliable, weak heroine I've ever seen in literature. Ellery was coming dangerously close to that low standard.
When not being kissed or hugged or stared at too intently, Ellery has above average intelligence. It gave me hope for her because I really wanted her to finally be the woman she was meant to be. It was not to be, unless it happens in the later books.
As for the men in her life:
Ash - He's completely unreadable to her at fairly frequent intervals, she knows very little about him and he doesn't understand her humor. Her humor being something she cherishes about herself. But gosh-darn, he was so pretty she had to fall in love with him...for some reason that's never explained. She promises to marry him while she messes around (guiltily) with her old crush---
Gray - Doting on her to the point of smothering. He orders food for her, he arranges everything for her without consulting her. Treats her more like a beloved pet than an actual life-partner. Ellery, to her credit, realizes she doesn't want to live like that. "golden chains" was the term used and it was apt. Instead of clearing the air and telling him how she feels, though, she runs away. Sad.
I must admit that as a father of girls myself, this is one of my worst fears for them. That they grow up to be intelligent women who's brains and resolve fly out the window when a man pays attention to her. Fortunately, they are adults now and quite capable of saying "no" and meaning it. Oh, if that had only happened to Ellery!
From the beginning I was apathetic to her as she was a child and I wasn't interested in reading about children. As the story went along I grew fond of her and was pulling for her. By the time she got herself entangled with the two men I found that I had grown to despise her. Almost didn't finish the last 25% out of pure disgust, but I figured that maybe after all she would... Umm, no.
Despite the fact that there is an awful lot of text about why I didn't like the book, It really was just "OK". The bad stuff just needs more explanation is all.
Although we never learn the cause and solution of the crime mentioned in the prologue, the story develops into an interesting action-packed tale of the two lovers who are pursuing Ellery, Grayson from a distance and "under cover"; and Ash, a security agent, unaware that he has been hired by Grayson's dad to keep an eye on Ellery while Grayson is waiting for her to grow up.
In her senior year in high school, Ellery becomes friends with Samantha, who hides her true identity under the covers of dressing as a Goth, and Ellery realizes that under an outward repulsive decor is a warm-hearted, caring friend who helps her out of her loneliness. They have some interesting adventures that eventually help Ellery to meet Ash.
The contest between Ellery's two lovers comes to a head while they are on a backpacking survey trip in the Canadian Rockies. Ellery follows the advice of Elsie, the guide of their tour, and also the recalled advice of Ellery's dad before he died... and this advice made this book so very special to me. That's why I said in the title of my review that every teenager should read it. He said to her, and I quote:
"Being single is like being the captain of our own plane. You can fly anywhere you like. And that's great, especially if you enjoy being in charge and doing whatever you want. But if you fall in love and decide to get married someday, you'd better make sure the man you marry is good enough to be a captain. Because just like in a real jet, you can only have one captain and one co-pilot, and if they argue about where they are going or how to fly, what can happen?"
"They could crash?"
"That's right. I want you to be happy and get where you are going without any crashes in your life. So make sure you choose a good captain, one you can trust with the direction of your life and someone who will always treat you like a partner..."
All in all, this book is an excellent story, told with a high moral perspective. Ann Mauren's first book is a winner, and I can't wait to read her other two books once she is finished writing them. Take your time to make them as good as this first one, Ann.
Most recent customer reviews
Ah, I wish there were a sequel.Read more
Anyone would like this book. It is clean and Fun.