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Mr. Blackwell Paperback – October 15, 2015
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Top customer reviews
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Ok, don't laugh...but when I first started reading it...it made me think of Duck Dynasty with much hotter guys and bows/arrows rather than duck calls. Please don't think this is a slur against the show or the author...I think it was the description of the family living in the swamp/woods. Well, moving on, I hope I don't offend anyone with the comparison. I love the family in this group especially Macie...she made me laugh a lot.
As the story kept going, I knew there was something big going on under the surface. Being from South Louisiana myself, I know of the superstition that many of the people from there especially the older people sometimes embrace. I kept reading with my heart beating faster and faster. Every time, Jase or Mr. Blackwell and Vivienne are together, it's like a cord pulling them closer and closer together. It was amazing to read. Then when the heart pain started, all I could think is crap, this is going to get really bad! But, I couldn't put it down. I'm not usually that sort of reader...when I know something bad is going to happen, I almost hate to finish the book.
I think AB Novak has a bright future ahead with writing if Mr. Blackwell is any indication of her writing talent, then I expect to hear great things. The only reason I didn't give Mr. Blackwell 5 stars is because the ending seemed really rushed. I do realize that part of that is due to the story line but I hated not having any indication of Jase and Vivienne's future. Don't let this one little thing overshadow a great book...this is just my opinion. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a great original paranormal read.
Mr. Blackwell is the debut novel of AB Novak, but it doesn't seem like it's a first novel. Ms. Novak's prose flows along easily with what seems like an experienced mind behind it. From page one you are drawn into the story; you find yourself in that Louisiana swamp with Vivienne, watching as Jase fires an arrow at a fish. It sounds like odd imagery, but it was really a beautiful opening.
I found the characters to be delightfully unique, Jase more so than Vivienne. The curse on his family weighs him down, gives him a sense of reality despite the paranormal circumstances surrounding him. Vivienne is deep, confident, and I came to like her after I got used to her. Both of them play off each other well, and I could see them in my mind very clearly.
While the curse itself and the budding romance between the characters is the central focus point of the novel (which I found to be far too short, by the way), what I think made it very enjoyable was the vivid descriptions of the characters and of Louisiana itself. Rarely in modern YA fiction do you find such wonderfully descriptive prose as I found here. Yes, the story does get a bit a adjective happy, I found it reminded me of books penned one or two hundred years ago. I miss that vividity, and was very glad to see a modern book for teens use it so well.
I think that Ms. Novak is a great writer, and I was very pleased to be able to read this book! It's not overly macabre, overly mushy, or too dull. Like Goldie Locks said, "It's just right".
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