Thursday, August 26, 2010

Planning a Labor Day Getaway?

If you’re off to the beach or the mountains for a Labor Day break, you’ll want a just right book to read.

I pack a bag of books for reading on a sun warmed rock outside a mountain cabin we love or on the screen porch of a favorite beach house with a view of the Gulf. Usually, all of the books turn out to be “just right,” keeping me spellbound until the last page. Many are mysteries, a genre I enjoy as long as it isn’t gory. I’ll share a few titles in the next week leading up to the holiday and maybe you’ll want to tuck a copy or two in your reading bag.

My first choice is a book teens and parents, too, can read with pleasure. Not too heavy. Not too light. Just right.

BLOOD BROTHERS by s.a. harazin, Delacorte Press, 2007

This novel was an Edgar finalist. Considering how many young adult mystery novels are published every year, rising to the top is an indication of the quality of the writing and the heart pumping power of the plot.

17 year old Clay is a medical technician with a driving desire to be a doctor. This ambition will have to be achieved by his own will because he has no connections, no money, and bumps in the road both literally and philosophically.

While Clay’s classmates, young people of privilege, plan parties and futures, Clay’s life revolves around a work schedule at the hospital. His job pays little and contributes little to his savings since his dad makes him pay rent and other expenses. As for transportation, and the miles add up, Clay must ride his bike everywhere–a major complication.

Joey is Clay’s best friend. They are blood brothers. Then something goes horribly wrong.

What happened to Joey? How did he come to be on life support? Did he overdose on drugs on purpose? Was someone else responsible? Is it Clay’s fault? Can Clay save Joey? Can anyone help Clay?

The reader will remember Clay long after the last page and will be pulling for him to find a way to earn that MD diploma. A sequel would be nice. Let's hope the author is working on that.

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