Tuesday, December 22, 2009
In Which Trai Reviews 'A Kid to the Rescue'
Hello, all! I had to take a reading break from Up in the Air (reading it over such scattered periods of time is confusing!), but I'll get back to it as soon as I can. In the meantime, some light reading was done to destress from finals.
The Book: A Kid to the Rescue
The Author: Susan Gable
How I Found It: Read one of Gable's earlier books and was sent a copy by Susan Gable herself, who was very nice!
The Review: Wow, did I really like this book a lot! I think I'm a sucker for any story with a cute kid (honestly, I think I suck, period, with kids in real life, but I will "aww" at any cute representation of them. Go figure). Anyway, I like stories with young kids, especially quiet ones-- I've written one of these kids myself and his character is really close to my heart, so I think that might explain why.
Shannon Vanderhoff has taken in her traumatized nephew, Ryan, after he has witnessed his mother's murder at the hands of his father. It is suggested that she bring her nephew to an art therapist, Greg Hawkins, who does good work empowering children who need it. Ryan has stopped speaking and Shannon wishes to help him, but is wary that letting a comic-book artist heal her son might lead to violence.
She finally allows Greg to help Ryan, and starts to see some changes as Ryan becomes happier and Greg gives her tips on how to connect to him. Shannon won't do this easily, as events in her past have led her to believe that letting go is best and personal attachments are fleeting. But she might be starting to fall for Greg.
As the trial for Ryan's father looms and a custody battle comes into play, one of Greg's many siblings, a lawyer, advises him to stay away from Shannon until the court cases are over. But it is increasingly difficult for Greg to stay away from the people he's grown so attached to, and he finds himself falling in love with both Shannon and Ryan.
I really enjoyed the emotional range of this book-- I laughed aloud a couple times, I cried, and I even found myself saying, "But that's not FAIR!" at a few points as I became outraged on behalf of the characters. The chemistry between Greg and Shannon was well-done and I could see where their attraction came from.
I also felt that Ryan was really well-written. I always find kids are difficult to write, particularly how they talk and behave, and this must've been no exception. I felt that Ryan being traumatized was handled very well and depicted accurately, and gave a lot of credit to real-life professionals like Greg that have to work with sad stories like this every day.
The secondary characters, consisting mostly of Greg's large family, gave me a good laugh, too. Greg's rapport with his brothers Finn and Hayden was very believable, and Hayden's lines gave me the most laughs. That family dynamic was realistic and really gave a sense of the big family and the love they had for each other.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book a lot, and I'm looking forward to other stories about this family and the other men within. Highly recommended to fans of romance or family dramas-- this one's got both in spades.