Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Matt de la Peña
I know this sounds a bit odd, but with the world so engossed with the CW and their “presentation” of children and teenagers, (90210, anyone?), it’s more than a little refreshing when I receive a YA novel that deals with life on the “other side of the tracks” – far away from Rodeo Drive. Yes, it’s fine to escape into a fantasy world of diamonds, glitz, and glamour. In fact, sometimes it’s therapeutic. But a lot of teens believe that they’re the “worst” off in life and that no one has it harder than they do. Then a writer comes along who truly reaches into your heart and soul and shows you that no matter how bad it is, there is A) someone who has it far worse; and, B) a way to change life for the better. This is one of those excellent writers.
There is one warning I have for you, however; the opening scene – which I won’t disclose because I think you should ALL go out and buy this one – is an intensely emotional “slap.” Kidd is our main character; he is a parentless young man who spends most of his time in his group home therapy sessions. Kidd is sad, lonely, and depression seems to be the only thing he has in spades. The one thing he does find by mistake is Olivia. This blonde headed hottie has an extremely wealthy father and more secrets than Kidd can possibly know.
There is also a young man by the name of Devon. Devon is one of those teens that are possibly pure evil. He has to have some extreme death wish, seeing as that he is driven by the anger that fills his heart and soul. He follows Kidd to the beach in Cardiff, California and literally refuses to leave until he teaches Kidd a lesson that may actually make Kidd’s past look like a “tiptoe through the tulips” after Devon is done proving his point…and his revenge.
As a person who dealt with depression during my teenage years, this was a truly riveting, poignant story that will teach teens and adults that even through the darkest times of life there is still hope, and there are still people who will support you, inspire you, and offer you the love you need in order to change your life for the better.
The complex feelings don’t bring the story to a standstill, however – I do want to make that completely clear. The mystery that’s woven throughout the story, as well as the character of Kidd who is absolutely mesmerizing, makes the plot of the novel move quickly while still driving every point solidly home.
Again, it is extremely welcoming to have an author on the market who wants to teach love, faith, and even romance in the face of pain and adversity without using 'glamazons' on Rodeo Drive, or vampires in the rainy Northwest to do it. This is a book for everyone who needs some answers, love, and, most especially, understanding.
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