Review-Chris Lynch’s “Angry Young Man”

The once-good relationship between two half brothers and their mother grows tense as Ma’s money grows thinner and Robert’s brother Xan’s behavior grows stranger. Xan’s tendency to care a lot (perhaps too much) about everything and his ability to be persuaded prove to be curses-especially when he makes the wrong friends. Robert tries to help him get back on the right track, to show him that there’s a place for his big heart right at home.

I very much enjoyed the two main characters, Robert and Xan, for several reasons. Both of them are out of high school, which isn’t something I see a lot in teen fiction. Also, the story focuses mostly on Xan and his struggle to be accepted; yet the narrator is his older brother, Robert. Sometimes viewing a unique character from the outside makes that character seem stronger and even more intriguing-that was definitely the case with this book.

I would consider the book general fiction, but it has an original quality that sets it apart from the rest. Lynch crafted a story that stands out, without using any clichés (no vampires here!).

For me, the book started out slow and gradually built up toward the end. I think the story could have easily been more of a thriller had less time been spent developing the relationships between the characters. (Character development is great, but sometimes revealing a key detail near the end makes a book more fun and interesting.) The writing was pretty good, although many of the characters spoke in the same way. There weren’t many distinguishable changes in tone or dialect when a new character started talking.

There isn’t anything too special about the format-it’s straightforward, but good. I would recommend this book to high school readers, since some of the story’s elements are very mature. Also, there’s a sprinkling of obscenity. Not too much, but just enough to add some drama and give the book a “PG-13” rating.

Angry Young Man tells an original story with some memorable characters. Overall, I’d say the book could have moved faster, but it’s a quick read anyway (just over 150 pages). Some characters are a bit dull and some parts are slow, but it’s worth the read to get to the ending. This story hooked me and made me care about how this angry young man finds his way in the world.

 

Want to give it a shot?  Click HERE to check it out on Amazon.com!

Review-Jessica & Danielle Dunn’s “A Teen’s Guide to Getting Published” (2e)

The Scale

This is an informational book, to the key points here are organization, enjoyability, helpfulness, and formatting.

Organization: This book is very organized, with a section for publishing tips for online, standard, and magazine publishing, as well as a publishers directory.  Everything is easy to find, which is helpful for writers not interested in every topic this book covers.  (It covers pretty much anything a young person could need if they’re interested in publishing!)

Enjoyability: Although an informational book, it has a definite enjoyability factor.  The voices of the authors are great, especially since they wrote the book as teenagers.  They present advice in a cool, active way.

Helpfulness: I can clearly see why Jessica and Danielle became such as success as teenagers with this book.  Everything they have to say is fantastic and use-able!  They provide step by step instructions on how to prepare a piece for submission, writing submission letters, and catering to the requirements of different publishers.  A directory of publishers to submit to and contests to enter is included near the index, which can prove to be an amazing resource once a reader knows what to do!  The way everything is presented, even though the publishing world can be a scary one, makes it sound manageable.

Formatting: The only issue I had with this book was its format.  Yes it was organized, but for some reason or another it annoyed me.  Step by step instructions were provided on how to do a lot of things, but where to use the processes the book teaches in one chapter were in some other part of the book.  I would’ve liked to see the directory of publishers split, maybe put in sections at the end of each chapter.  Teen writing sites at the end of the online publishing chapter, and so on.

Final Rating–> 3.5/4

Would I recommend this book?  I suppose, as long as he/she’s a teen!