Saturday, February 12, 2011

October Breezes by Maria Rachel Hooley

October Breezes - Maria Rachel Hooley
Release Date: August 4th, 2009
Publisher: CreateSpace

Skye Williams knows everything there is to know about mistrust: Dad skipped out when she was five. And now Warren Jacobs tries to sweep her Mom off her feet. But Warren's not the only concern rocking Skye's world. Devin Abbott, a guy she's known since kindergarten, has changed. He's become a tall, broad-shouldered guy she might date-if he wasn't her best friend. Skye swears there's nothing between them, but everyone else thinks differently. Devin doesn't act the way he used to, especially when Kellin Jacobs, senior quarterback, asks Skye out. Flattered, she accepts, and, Devin sulls up-and he isn't the only one. Kellin's best friend, Tyler Rutherford, gets bent out of shape, too, as he's always wanted Skye for himself. When Kellin and Skye attend one of Tyler's famous parties, neither senses the impending disaster that will change not only her life but also that of everyone who loves her.  - Goodreads.com

I have to admit that, at first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one.  It had somewhat of a slow start for me.  I also had issues with the main character, Skye, as she came across as a kind of whiny, self-centered brat at first.  I’m not sure if that was actually intended by the author or not… and having read the rest of the story, I can see how it might have been an intentional device to show character growth throughout the story.

I stuck with it, and I am glad that I did.  This book deals with so many issues that teens face today, including a couple that a teenage girl should never have to face.  But I know it happens more than we’d care to admit.

I don’t want to mention the exact circumstances, because they came as a surprise to me while reading, and I feel their impact would be lessened if the reader was forewarned.  Suffice it to say that this character has a couple events to deal with that are a heck of a lot more heavy than just an absentee dad and the bitterness it causes.  I found myself alternately shocked, saddened, and heartbroken for this heroine, especially toward the end.  Skye’s circumstances cause her to grow so much as a person, and although it took these circumstances, she finally learns to love and trust the right people, and to love and trust herself.

I would have liked to have seen Devin stick by her a little bit more during these events, but let’s face it, in real life, he probably would have acted exactly how he did in this book.  So I can’t say the author made the wrong choice here.  I think she wrote it to be true to life, and it was.  Devin comes through, and he comes through with his own growth.  That was satisfying, and made me like him more.

The author handled three very sensitive issues with great, well, sensitivity, which marks her as an excellent author.  I’m not sorry I stuck it out on the beginning.  I’m glad to have read this.  I would say that the subject matter is probably more suited for older teens, however.

I look forward to seeing what this author puts out in future.  LATE BREAKING NEWS: As I was writing this review, I discovered this book has a sequel that I will want to get called Summer Sunsets.

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