By Lacey Weatherford
Chase Walker gets hit with a huge blow when his father dies. Instead of dealing with the pain, grief, and loss he falls into drugs and alcohol. His once charmed life and great future tanks and he finally gets hit with a wake-up call when he is arrested for drinking and driving.
Though he walks away unscathed for the most part he gets a crap-load of community service. If that wasn’t bad enough, his mother decides to ship him off to live with his grandparents. Anger, resentment, and hatred course through his veins.
With a new environment and a lot of community service hours, Chase is trying to both make a place for himself in his new school and still holding true to changing his life for the better. It’s hard though because after living with numbness, one doesn’t want to give up that and actually feel things.
And then he meets Nikki, a good girl who is definitely not prone to dating guys like him. Still Chase isn’t one to give up when he sees something he likes. He gives it all he’s got and when he finally gets what he wants, he isn’t at all prepared for the package.
She makes him feel and this both excites him and scares him. She’s had her own trials in life but that makes him like her ever more. But she didn’t want anything to do with him. I think the ‘chase’was a bit quick and then done with….and the majority of the book was less to do with chasing her as it was their relationship together.
This novel was a sweet read. It reminded me of the emotional aspects of Highway to Heaven or Touched by an Angel television series. This book isn’t just about teaching a lesson, and it’s not at all preachy or focused on making a statement. It’s just a really nice novel that will likely make a few tears spill onto the page.
The characters were great. I really liked Chase’s grandparents, especially the old man. His personality is perfect for his background as ex-military and I could only wish more people would be like this character.
The storyline was realistic for the most part. I felt there were some scenes that seemed a bit…rushed and not up to par with the professional writing style Weatherford displayed through most of the book. Still, I think this book was done very nicely, a great read for a middle or high schooler (or adult!).And if you like books with continuing storylines this is one of them.
This book was a very simple read, nothing complex, and beautifully enjoyable. Chase Walker is not your average trouble maker. He’s had it rough since his father died and he found he could numb his feelings with the aid of drugs and booze. It’s not uncommon. The story propelled the reader into his troubles and it was easy to believe this character; very well-rounded.
I thought the novel was nicely done and deserves credit for being what it is…a book that deals with the hot topics of even today’s young adults. In the times past, one might go to Lois Duncan or Beverly Cleary or writers similar and Weathorford has an amazing ability to reach the pressures and write from the heart. I believe she certainly has a definite opportunity to be just as potent and popular as these writers if she continues on this track.
I wouldn’t mind reading more of her work. For parents of the late 80’s and 90’s, this might be akin to those afterschool specials you grew up on.