- File Size: 1095 KB
- Print Length: 145 pages
- Publication Date: October 28, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B076JMZCYX
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,841 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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October Kindle Edition
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|Length: 145 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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It's the kind of book where I didn't want to put it down for later, even when I had to. It starts out delightfully – with the beginnings of a fresh friendship. 17-year-old Emily Baxter meets the new girl in town, October Blake. The weeks tick by rather beautifully as these two girls get to know each other and have a few adventures, just spending time creating memories. For me, the intensity of the drama (while subtle and perhaps just found in quiet conversation) kept increasing as the chapters unfolded. As lovely as the friendship was coming along, I felt that the plot was heading somewhere else – somewhere that I as the reader didn't know yet, and neither did Emily. But I just couldn't wait to find out what the secret was – good or bad.
Tobi (October) herself seems to have so many dream-like qualities akin to Anne Shirley. I wanted to be her friend just as much as Emily wanted to. “This girl seemed more fitted to lilac and lace and the smell of old books with long, beautiful words in them.” And even better, when she was asked about her favorite authors, I found that our hearts beat as one on that topic. She comes across as a strong female, yet with vulnerabilities, a true-to-life person.
I connected really well with Emily's character too. She's a high-schooler, eager to make a new acquaintance even though it means putting herself out on the line a bit. Emily has a fun curiosity about her, aroused when this interesting girl named October enters the picture. She's ready to give this friendship her all, and from my point of view, these girls have something more precious than a friend in each other. It seems to me that they form a solid sisterhood, which is definitely my favorite element in the book.
Then there's Jax, Emily's cousin and loyal friend. Their bond is so strong too, like they're always going to be together, fighting their way through life by each other's side. One of my favorite passages, where Emily is thinking about him, since she knows him so well: “I had known Jax my whole life. I could tell what each of his different silences meant.” He's a good-natured gentleman and a reliable comrade.
Some of the topics in the story include self-harm, depression, and may be hinting at other mental disorders. The story is woven very well around these topics, while keeping God in the story. What the book definitely brings out is that the family and friends you know may be different on the inside than the image they project to the world around them.
This is “clean” fiction; teens especially will like this book, and adults will enjoy it too. It has well-written faith content in it, and I'm so happy that it has Christian undertones all throughout the plot, especially when dealing with the heavier and perhaps grim topics.
Overall? I am impressed by Pennington's October. This one seems like a story really close to the author's heart, and the reader can definitely feel it.
P.S. Oh, and the ending really got me good, stunned me a bit. Like the classic mystery ending of My Cousin Rachel.
Emily is a wonderful character. I loved her. She is sweet, hopeful, and a faithful friend. She reminds me a lot of my youngest sister. I love how excited Emily gets over a new girl, a girl who is so obviously different.
Jax was a major player in this book as well. He was sweet and the kind of cousin I think every girl wishes she had. He has his faults, but he has a great heart.
The parents, pastor, and Melissa all played supporting roles. Each of them had some flaws, but all of them also had some wonderful qualities. I loved how real they all felt.
From the beginning of the book, you are waiting for the shoe to drop. You know that there is more to October (or Tobi) then Emily is seeing. Even early on, there are glimpses that just don’t fit. As the book wears on, the tension mounts. I think for anyone who has been around people like October will see it coming.
I think the hardest thing about this book is to realize how necessary it is. So many young people are dealing with friends who have major challenges like October. A book like this can help younger readers cope with what they are going through. The issues discussed in this book are not easy (See spoiler at the end of my review), but they are real, and they do exist.
The writing was some of Pennington’s best yet. You can tell this story poured out of her very soul, not just her heart. Because of that, it will impact lives.
The ending left my heart broken, yet there was hope among the sharp shards of pain. This is not a happy, feel-good book. This is not a fluffy romance. This is a raw, emotional, and realistic look at some hard things.
I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy realistic stories, lyrical writing, and emotional tales.
October deals with self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and mental disorder. While handled well, these subjects are never easy.