ISBN: 9781946089007, Dirt Road Books, an e-book by C. C. Bolick
This ‘coming of age’ (with a twist) book follows a period in the life of Jessica Ray Delaney, a 15-year-old as she and her family return to her adoptive mother’s home town of Credence, Alabama after numerous and often abrupt unexplained moves. (Her adoption had followed her being found under strange conditions by her adoptive father at 4 years of age). Her life appears to be filled with the numerous challenges of a teen entering a new school with its already structured social groups, bullies and all. However, her problems are exacerbated by the fact that her parents although loving, seem to emphasize the adoptive fact and she also worries about her adoptive father’s health problems. She is close to her Aunt Charlie’s daughter Bailey and is attracted to her Aunt’s son and popular football player Pade which is the source of further bullying. This fact, associated with another relationship that she gradually develops with Chase, a new boy in town whose mother is Jes’s English teacher gradually gains increasing importance as the tale unfolds and the reader learns more about Chase, his mother, Jes’s earlier history and her family attachments. Of further importance are her dreams and return of memory of her early life. Unfortunately, much of this material had been known by her adoptive mother and father but had not been revealed to her because they had been told by counselors not to do so because her mind eventually would supply the facts. The ending is acceptable for the plot and provides an easy entré to the next volume in the series.
Discussion: This is a rather complex story with acceptable ‘other worldly’ overtones that should be most enjoyable for young adult readers and for the reader who is less pragmatically inclined. For these latter individuals, regrettably there are far too many unexplained actions and unresolved issues other than the ‘other worldly’ matter which is, to reiterate, acceptable and interesting.
3* 4* For Young Adult and/or readers less pragmatically inclined.