The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower Book #2) By Stephen King #SpoilerFree #BookReview

Drawing of the ThreeWhile pursuing his quest for the Dark Tower through a world that is a nightmarishly distorted mirror image of our own, Roland is drawn through a mysterious door that brings him into contemporary America.

Here he links forces with the defiant young Eddie Dean, and with the beautiful, brilliant, and brave Odetta Holmes, in a savage struggle against underworld evil and otherworldly enemies.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5094.The_Drawing_of_the_Three

Fiction: Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi

First Published May 1987

A newer edition was published August 2003

Stephen King

 

If you haven’t heard of Stephen King yet then you must have been living under a rock.

http://www.stephenking.com

 

 

 

 

The Drawing of the Three begins with Roland, the Gunslinger, on a beach not long after the man in black had predicted Roland’s future with tarot cards. The cards showed a man called The Prisoner, a woman called The Lady of Shadows, and Death. A 4-foot-long lobster-like creature with eyes on stalks attacks Roland. Roland’s bullets were soaked by the tide as he was sleeping and he’s unable to defend himself against the attack. The lobster creature bit off Roland’s first and second fingers, then took a chunk out of his calf and his toe. Roland’s injuries are severe and infection is spreading. He decides to walk North, and after three hours comes across a door, made of ironwood, with two words written on it “The Prisoner”. He looks through the door and finds himself looking through the window of a plane. It takes Roland awhile to figure it out, but he finally realizes he’s looking through the eyes of The Prisoner, Eddie Dean. Eddie is an addict attempting to smuggle cocaine into America.

The flight attendant, Jane, brings Eddie a “tooter-fish” (tuna) sandwich and notices that his eye color has changed. Her training taught her to pay attention to strange things, no matter how small they may seem. She decides to keep a close eye on Eddie. Roland manages to bring the sandwich back through the door to his body lying on the beach.

Before landing Jane notices Eddie’s eyes had changed back to hazel. She fills a thermos with hot coffee, alerts her coworker Suzy that there may be a problem, then sits down to watch Eddie. If he whips out a gun or a bomb she’ll throw the hot coffee on him. Suzy catches a glimpse of Eddie’s cocaine packaged taped around his ribs when he bends over to pick up a paper. The Gunslinger sees Suzy’s face and knows what she’s discovered. Roland is hoping Eddie will be able to get medicine for Roland’s infection, but the only way to do that is if Eddie can get through customs without being caught with drugs. Roland needs to make this happen so he can continue his journey to The Dark Tower.

I admire how King writes characters in such a realistic way. The setting and descriptions make you feel like you are right there with them. Holding your breath when things get intense, laughing when something funny happens, crying when there is sadness. The Drawing of the Three is a roller-coaster ride of emotions. My favorite character is most definitely Odetta, The Lady of the Shadows. I don’t want to say too much about her because it will be better for you to learn about her through the story. At 463 pages it seems like a hefty read, but the short sections within chapter inspire you to keep reading – just one more, just one more. I honestly can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this story.

I recommend this book to anyone over the age of 16 (profanity, graphic descriptions, violence, sex) who are fans of stories about hope, fighting inner demons, unlikely friendships, trust, and justice.

 

 

Summer #CosyReadingNight Tomorrow!

Lauren, from Lauren and the Books, is hosting a Cosy Reading Night tomorrow evening – Saturday, August 19th, 2017 – (2pm for us in the Eastern time zone), and my kids and I are taking part! We put a bunch of books on hold at the library so hoping they will be ready for pickup tomorrow morning.

What is Cosy Reading Night? Well! It’s a fabulous evening where we get super cozy, surround ourselves with candles, enjoy some of our favorite snacks, and read for three hours.

Check in with Lauren on Twitter with the hashtag #cosyreadingnight

And if you would like – add me on Twitter too! 🙂

I plan on reading the second book of The Raven Cycle series, The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, and possibly switching it up and reading some of A Bold and Dangerous Family by Jennifer Murphy.

The Dream Thieves“Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17347389-the-dream-thieves

 

 

 

 

 

A bold and dangerous family

 

“The acclaimed author of A Train in Winter and Village of Secrets delivers the next chapter in “The Resistance Quartet”: the astonishing story of the aristocratic Italian family who stood up to Mussolini’s fascism, and whose efforts helped define the path of Italy in the years between the World Wars—a profile in courage that remains relevant today.” On Sale October 2017

“A compelling and moving book. . . . . The literature of wartime France and the Holocaust is by now so vast as to confound the imagination, but when a book as good as this comes along, we are reminded that there is always room for something new.” –Washington Post on A Train in Winter

What will you be reading on Summer Cosy Reading Night?

The Drawing of the Three By Stephen King #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

Drawing of the ThreeWhen I pick up a book to decide if I’d like to read it I often read the first chapter, first paragraph. I thought perhaps other readers do the same. I also like to share the first chapter first, paragraph so I can highlight fantastic writing. That first paragraph is often the one that draws you in to the story. Without further ado, here is first chapter first paragraph of The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King.

“Three. This is the number of your fate.
Three?
Yes, three is mystic. Three stands at the heart of the mantra.
Which three?
The first is dark-haired. He stands on the brink of robbery and murder. A demon has infested him. The name of the demon is HEROIN.
Which demon is that? I know it not, even from nursery stories.
He tried to speak but his voice was gone, the voice of the oracle, Star-Slut, Whore of the Winds, both were gone; he saw a card fluttering down from nowhere to nowhere, turning and turning in the lazy dark. On it a baboon grinned from over the shoulder of a young man with dark hair; its disturbingly human fingers were buried so deeply in the young man’s neck that their tips had disappeared in flesh. Looking more closely, the gunslinger saw the baboon held a whip in one of those clutching, strangling hands. The face of the ridden man seemed to writhe in wordless terror.”

The Book Title Tag #TagTuesday

The Book Title Tag

Created By: Rachel Reads https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5_S1KGTd-w&t=43s

I used my TBR to answer these questions. Have you read any of these? Let me know which ones I should read first 🙂

1. Title that’s the story of your life

 

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

By Stephen King

Published 2015

I have had nightmares almost every night for as long as I can remember. It’s okay, don’t feel bad for me, they are a great source for stories 🙂

 

 

 

 

2. Title that describes your perfect weekend

Where the trees were

 

Where the Trees Were

By Inga Simpson

Published 2016

I couldn’t find anything suitable, but I like camping…so…ya…it’s a stretch LOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Title of an adventure you’d like to go on

looking for alaska.jpg

 

Looking for Alaska

By John Green

Published 2006

I would love to take an Alaskan cruise!

 

 

 

 

 

4. Title you want to name your child

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Coraline

By Neil Gaiman

First published 2002

Coraline has been my daughter’s favorite movie since she was about four years old. This past Christmas she got the Coraline graphic novel. I’m thinking this year I shall get her the novel 🙂

 

 

 

5. Title of your ideal job

The Good Lawyer

 

The Good Lawyer

By Thomas Benigno

Published 2012

I would LOVE to be a lawyer. If I could turn back time I would have done that instead of getting my Sociology/Anthropology degree.

 

 

 

 

6. Title of a place you’d like to visit

The Lake House.jpg

 

The Lake House

By Kate Morton

Published 2015

There’s nothing better than hanging out near a beautiful lake.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Title of your love life

The Wife.jpg

 

The Wife

By Meg Wolitzer

Published 2004

I’m a wife…so…ya…creative. LOL

 

 

 

 

 

8. Questions you ask yourself

Is everyone hanging out without me.jpg

 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns)

By Mindy Kaling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Title of a kingdom you want to rule OR name

A Song of Ice and Fire.jpg

 

A Song of Ice and Fire series

By George R. R. Martin

I’m probably not the only person who would like to rule the Seven Kingdoms.

 

 

 

 

 

10. Title you’d name your band.

The Chrysalids.jpg

 

The Chrysalids

By John Wyndham

Doesn’t that sound like a great name for an alternative/rock band!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Title that’s the story of your life
2. Title that describes your perfect weekend
3. Title of an adventure you’d like to go on
4. Title you want to name your child
5. Title of your ideal job
6. Title of a place you’d like to visit
7. Title of your love life
8. Questions you ask yourself
9. Title of a kingdom you want to rule OR name
10. Title you’d name your band.

The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review #SpoilerFree

The Raven Boys

Published 2012 by Scholastic Press (Goodreads Photo)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is a unique, hard-to-put-down young adult fiction novel. It’s not your typical fantasy romance story. A few of the characters have some real shit going on their life. When I say hard-to-put-down I mean it. I picked this up when I could fit in a page or two here and there throughout my day. If I wasn’t a mom with “adulting” responsibilities I could have devoured the entire book in one sitting. I want to put aside the rest of my August TBR and see if the library has the second book of The Raven Cycle series…Okay, I checked. The library does have it. The next book is The Dream Thieves. I put it on hold LOL (P.S. if you didn’t know you can put a hold on a book, so when it is available they call you for pick up).

 

Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater (Goodreads Photo)

New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.” (Goodreads Blurb: Author Page)

The Raven Boys main character is Blue Sargent, the teenage-daughter of a medium, Maura Sargent. They live with Maura’s psychic best friends, Persephone and Calla, in a house at 300 Fox Way, Henrietta, Virginia. Maura and other mediums have told Blue that she will cause her true love to die. Unlike her family and house-mates Blue is not psychic, but when she is near she’s like an amplifier, helping Maura, Persephone, and Calla make predictions and read tarot cards.

On April 24, St. Mark’s Eve, Blue accompanies her mother’s half-sister, Neeve, on the church watch. This is the night where mediums can see the souls of the people who will die within the next 12 months. Blue jots down notes as Neeve asks each spirit their name. Neeve, Maura and their psychic friends will use this information to let clients know their fate. For the first time Blue can see one of the ghosts making his way to the church doors. He wouldn’t tell Neeve his name, hence Neeve asks Blue to get his name. Blue has to ask a few times before he finally tells her that his name is Gansey.

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love,” Neeve said, “or you killed him.”

Richard Campbell Gansey III is an “all-American” rich boy who attends Aglionby Academy, a private all boys school. The Aglionby uniform includes a raven emblem, and therefore students have the nickname “the raven boys”. Gansey’s friends are Adam, Ronan, and Noah. Adam is an incredibly polite boy who attends Aglionby Academy thanks to a partial scholarship. Ronan likes to make people feel uncomfortable. He’s a bad-boy struggling with his father’s death. Noah is extremely shy, with pale skin and combed-back fair hair. Gansey, Ronan and Noah live in an old abandoned manufacturing building once called Monmouth Manufacturing.

On St. Mark’s Eve, Gansey had also been sitting at the old church with his recorder, hoping to hear the dead. He’s attempting to find a ley line which will lead him to the tomb of Owain Glyndwr (Glendower), the Raven King. Legend says the one who wakes the Glendower will receive a favor.

Gansey longed for him like Arthur longed for the grail, drawn by a desperate but nebulous need to be useful to the world, to make sure his life meant something beyond champagne parties and white collars, by some complicated longing to settle an argument that waged deep inside himself.

Adam, on the other hand, needed that royal favor.

And that meant they needed to be the ones to wake Glendower. They needed to be the ones to find him first.”

Gansey captured the discussion between Blue and his ghost. The recording gets the boys, especially Gansey and Adam, excited that they are on the right track to finding the ley line. Gansey schedules a reading with Blue’s mom to hopefully gain information about hidden energy fields in Henrietta. This is when Blue and Gansey will meet, and the adventure begins…

My favorite character is a toss-up between Persephone and Adam. Persephone, one of Maura’s best friends, has wavy white-blond hair down to the back of her thighs, black eyes, and speaks in a very soft voice. In my mind she reminds me of Lady Amalthea in The Last Unicorn, which is my most favorite movie of all-time. Ronan blames his bad choices on his hard life, where Adam uses his dreary life as fuel to improve. Adam is mature well beyond his years and I just can’t help but want him to find happiness.

My one complaint is that I had a hard time connecting with Neeve. She was interesting, yet for some reason I just couldn’t picture her in my mind and didn’t understand her motivations.

The Raven Boys is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’m anxious to pick up the next book to see what will happen next. I recommend this book to anyone who likes teenage friendship quest stories, with a little paranormal ghost stuff weaved in.

Maggie Stiefvater’s website: https://www.maggiestiefvater.com/

Happy Two-year Blog-aversary to me!

Yesterday was my two year blog-aversary! (Posting today because I was traveling yesterday and went to a Blue Jay’s MLB baseball game in Toronto).

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I’m very excited and grateful that so many have visited my blog, followed, liked, and left comments!

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Almost 900 visitors from all over the world have taken the time to stop by for a visit my blog so far this year! When I started blogging I thought it would just be a place for me to share my writing in order to get over the fear of letting others into my make-belief world. I feel like my writing skills have improved, and I’m feeling more confident about continuing to work on my short stories, poems, and hopefully a piece of work that will become a novel.

Replying to comments is one of my most favorite things to do, so thanks to everyone who took the time to leave a comment. I love to meet new people, connect and share our stories, so feel free to leave a comment or send a message. I also enjoy reading other blogs, so feel free to leave a link to your blog in comments!

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The Raven Boys #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

Here are the first couple paragraphs in the prologue of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys: Goodreads cover photo

“Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told  that she would kill her true love.

Her family traded in predictions. These predictions tended, however, to run toward the nonspecific. Things like: Something terrible will happen to you today. It might involve the number six. Or: Money is coming. Open your hand for it. Or: You have a big decision and it will not make itself.

The people who came to the little, bright blue house at 300 Fox Way didn’t mind the imprecise nature of their fortunes. It became a game, a challenge, to realize the exact moment that the predictions came true. When a van carrying six people wheeled into a client’s car two hours after his psychic reading, he could nod with a sense of accomplishment and release. When a neighbor offered to buy another client’s old lawn mower if she was looking for a bit of extra cash, she could recall the promise of money coming and sell it with the sense that the transaction had been foretold. Or when a third client heard his wife say, This is a decision that has to be made, he could remember the same words being said by Maura Sargent over a spread of tarot cards and then leap decisively to action.”

 

Remnant Population By Elizabeth Moon #SpoilerFree #BookReview

Remnant Population Sept 2003

September 2003, Paperback Edition

 

Remnant Population

By Elizabeth Moon

336 pages

Science Fiction, Fantasy

There are a few editions of this book with different covers. I read the hardcover edition published May 1st, 1996.

 

 

 

Elizabeth Moon

Elizabeth Moon, Goodreads

Elizabeth Moon Grew up in McAllen, Texas. “Her first novel, Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, sold in 1987 and came out in 1988; it won the Compton Crook Award in 1989. Remnant Population was a Hugo nominee in 1997, and The Speed of Dark was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and won the Nebula in 2004.” (Goodreads)

http://www.elizabethmoon.com/

 

Remnant Population May 1996

Remnant Population, May 1996 Hardcover Edition (Goodreads photo)

This is the cover of the edition I read. I borrowed Remnant Population from the library after a few people on the Reddit Fantasy group recommended it to satisfy the “Too Old for this Crap” square for the Fantasy Bingo Challenge 2017. That means I had to pick a fantasy book where the main character is over 50-years-old. When I picked up the book and saw the cover my heart sank. I thought this would be the corniest, cheesiest book I read in my life. I’m giving it two stars, but the story is okay. I had a really hard time routing for the main character, Ofelia. I’ll touch on that later.

Ofelia is an older woman who lives with her only living son Barto and his wife Rosara within a small colony owned by Sims Bancorp. Her late husband told her what to do (and I think was abusive), Barto and Rosara boss her around all of the time. Ofelia craves to just simply be left alone to do what she wants to do.

The Company, Sims Bancorp, has lost the franchise which means Ofelia and her people will have to leave the colony. Ofelia is the oldest of the originals who came to the colony many years ago. As others accept they will need to move within 30 days, Ofelia decides she is staying.

The company informs Barto that his mother will have to take one of the later shuttles and he will have to pay extra because of her age. After her son and daughter-in-law leave on their shuttle, Ofelia packs some food, and sleeps in the woods until everyone is gone. For the first time in her life she is FREE! It doesn’t take long for her to get rid of her clothes and enjoy walking around naked. Over the next month she keeps busy scavenging food and supplies from other houses, tending the gardens, checking on the machines, and ensuring the animals are safe.

During a terrible “sea-storm” Ofelia takes shelter in the control center and hears voices on the radio. It’s a shuttle coming to land somewhere else on the planet seeking a place to start a new colony. Creatures attack and only some of the humans manage to escape. Ofelia is left in shock and is now fearing the creatures will find her.

The story now flips to the alien perspective. They call the humans monsters. After the shuttles left, the aliens decide to go find the area where they had seen other shuttles land 40-years-ago.

I don’t want to say anything more, but I will say things get interesting and take a couple turns that I wasn’t expecting. I had a hard time relating to the characters. I felt they were a little flat, with no arc of any kind. Some parts of the story were a little suspenseful, but nothing scary. I did laugh a few times, mainly because Ofelia thinks and says some really weird stuff sometimes. She is incredibly selfish and stubborn. We aren’t given much information about the planet, or why they left “old earth”. We also don’t know much about the government or company that owns the colonies. It would have been great to have a bit more world-building and background info.

Remnant Population didn’t quite meet my expectations, but I would still recommend it to sci-fi fantasy fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World’s Worst Book Tag #TagTuesday

Thanks to Peter Monn from Peter Likes Books for creating this tag.

1. WHAT BOOK OR SERIES WOULD YOU FORCE YOUR ENEMY TO READ?

13RWanniversary

 

Instead of giving my enemy a book I didn’t like, or that I think would make them unhappy, I think I’ll give my enemy a book that might help them learn something and become a better person. If my enemy treats others badly, perhaps Thirteen Reasons Why might encourage compassion and understanding.

 

 

 

 

2. WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU TRIED TO READ SEVERAL TIMES BUT HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO FINISH?

man-gone-down

 

I don’t know why I can’t seem to finish Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas. I’ve tried three times, each time I make it a bit further before I stop. I’ve heard such good things about it, so next time I just need to power through 😉

 

 

 

 

3. WHAT BOOK HAS A CLOSE FRIEND RECOMMENDED THAT YOU ENDED UP LOVING?

Lunar Chronicles

I used to hang out with some awesome ladies for book club once a month, one of them recommended Cinder. When she told me about it I didn’t think I would like it at all. Before I finished the first chapter I was hooked! I loved the entire Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer.

4. WHAT BOOK IN THE LAST YEAR TOOK YOU THE LONGEST TO READ(CUZ YOU’RE LAZY!)

wyrd sisters

 

I had a hard time getting into Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, and it took me forever to finish it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. WHAT IS THE FASTEST BOOK YOU’VE READ IN THE LAST 5 YEARS BECAUSE IT WAS SO DAMN GOOD!

 

The Fault in our Stars

 

 

I read The Fault in our Stars by John Green in one sitting. SO GOOD.

 

 

 

 

6. CLEAR YOUR MIND…WHAT ARE THE FIRST THREE BOOKS THAT IMMEDIATELY COME INTO YOUR MIND?

a game of thrones

This Savage Song

Outlander

7. LAST BOOK YOU WILL ADMIT TO SKIMMING? (CHEATER!)

shooting creek

8. WHAT AUTHOR, IF THEY SECRETLY DROPPED A BRAND NEW BOOK TOMORROW, WOULD YOU IMMEDIATELY HAVE TO BUY AND BEGIN TO READ ASAP!

Stephen King.jpg

 

Stephen King. My favourite author for the past 24 years. #1 most followed author on Goodreads. He has 57 published novels (and another one coming soon). I want to read everything he’s ever written.

 

 

 

 

 

9. FAVORITE BOOK/TYPE OF BOOK TO READ IN BED AND BY THE POOL?

A page-turner, easy-read, with not a small amount of description, no big words that make me think too hard. Fantasy is great because it helps me escape from my worries and shut my brain off, helping me sleep better.

10. WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR BEST FRIEND AND FORCE THEM TO READ BECAUSE IT’S SO GOOD?!

Dress Codes for Small Towns

 

My FAVOURITE book I’ve read this year, and definitely in my top ten most favourite books I’ve ever read! I was kindly sent an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (here’s my review). This goes on sale August 22nd and I highly recommend you check it out! SO GOOOOOOD!

 

 

 

That’s it for this tag! I tag anyone who wants to answer the questions. Questions are below for easy copy/paste. I’d love to know what your answers would be! 🙂

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QUESTIONS:
1. WHAT BOOK OR SERIES WOULD YOU FORCE YOUR ENEMY TO READ?

2. WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU TRIED TO READ SEVERAL TIMES BUT HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO FINISH?

3. WHAT BOOK HAS A CLOSE FRIEND RECOMMENDED THAT YOU ENDED UP LOVING?

4. WHAT BOOK IN THE LAST YEAR TOOK YOU THE LONGEST TO READ(CUZ YOU’RE LAZY!)

5. WHAT IS THE FASTEST BOOK YOU’VE READ IN THE LAST 5 YEARS BECAUSE IT WAS SO DAMN GOOD!

6. CLEAR YOUR MIND…WHAT ARE THE FIRST THREE BOOKS THAT IMMEDIATELY COME INTO YOUR MIND?

7. LAST BOOK YOU WILL ADMIT TO SKIMMING? (CHEATER!)

8. WHAT AUTHOR, IF THEY SECRETLY DROPPED A BRAND NEW BOOK TOMORROW, WOULD YOU IMMEDIATELY HAVE TO BUY AND BEGIN TO READ ASAP!

9. FAVORITE BOOK/TYPE OF BOOK TO READ IN BED AND BY THE POOL?

10. WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR BEST FRIEND AND FORCE THEM TO READ BECAUSE IT’S SO GOOD?!

Original Creator: Peter from Peter Likes Books

Best Book I’ve read this year! Dress Codes For Small Towns by Courtney Stevens ] Spoiler-Free #BookReview

Dress Codes for Small Towns is an endearing young adult fictional romantic contemporary novel about a tomboy teenage girl finding herself among the rumor-mill of a small town. Courtney Stevens starts an interesting conversation about gender, sexuality, friendship, love, expectations, perceptions, identity, and family.

Dress Codes for Small Towns

 

Dress Codes For Small Towns

By: Courtney Stevens

On Sale: August 22nd, 2017

http://www.courtneycstevens.com/

 

Eight year old Elizabeth “Billie” McCaffrey is aware that she doesn’t fit in with most girls. She bonds with Woods Carrington, and over the next nine years they form a tight-knit group of misfit friends. They call themselves the hexagon; Billie, Janie Lee Miller (the pixie), Woods “Woods” Carrington (the president), Robert “Fifty” Tilghman (the douchebag), Kevin “Mash” Vilmer (the puker) and Mash’s cousin, David “Davey” Winters (the pretender).

Billie’s father, Scott McCaffrey, is the preacher of Otters Holt, a small town in western Kentucky. In an effort to keep teens on the “right track” Brother McCaffrey has set up a youth room in the church filled with fun things to keep the teens entertained and out of trouble. Ironically, the hexagon accidentally set the youth room on fire. While in the parking lot waiting for the fire to be put out the kids find out that Tyson “Big T” Vilmer, Davey and Mash’s grandfather, has died.

Big T was the financial backing for the Harvest Festival, and now that he has died there is talk around town that the festival will not be happening anymore. The Harvest Festival is when the mayor picks the winner of the corn dolly, awarded to the most “deserving” woman who will then be the first to dance at the Sadie Hawkins dance. Many women strive to win the corn dolly, many men are proud of their women who win, or even get nominated.

Due to the destruction the hexagon have done to the church with the fire they are given the punishment of construction – helping elderly people around town with odd jobs. Woods then gets the bright idea that the hexagon will help raise money to save the Harvest Festival.

While the hexagon attempt to save the Harvest Festival Billie is discovering the difference between friendship love, and love love. She feels incredibly confused about her gender and sexuality. Being the daughter of a preacher doesn’t make anything easier. I adore Billie’s character, even when she’s making bad decisions I’m always routing for her to prove that girls can do anything.

Janie is one of my favorite character’s. She’s not your typical “pixie” girl. Her father is in jail, her mom runs a laundromat but there are rumors she sells drugs. Janie is counting down to when she will leave Otters Holt.

Honestly, I loved every character. I can see pieces of me in each one. At first they appear to be a straight-forward stereotype, but with each chapter Stevens unveils how complicated the characters are. I would read a novel about each of their lives. For example, Fifty seems to be the stereotypical teenage boy attracted to danger – but then we find out he has four older brothers, so his idea of showing love is shoving, punching, wrestling. I can’t help but wonder what is going on in his mind? What is his life like?

I laughed, I cried, I held my breath in anticipation and pulled my hair in frustration. I think this is an important read for everyone over the age of fourteen, and highly recommend you check this one out!

I was kindly sent an advance reader’s e-proof courtesy of the publisher HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

 

“The degree to which a person can grow is directly proportional to the amount of truth he can accept about himself without running away.” ~ Leland Val Van De Wall