Naomi doesn't expect anything unusual from her annual family trip to visit her grandparents in Ireland. What she expects is to celebrate her thirteenth birthday, hang out with her friends Ciara and Shehan, and deal with her gran's Alzheimer's. What she finds is a country hit by an unexpected virus that rapidly infects the majority of the Irish population over the age of twenty-one.
Amnestic-Delirium Syndrome (ADS) starts off with memory loss, but the virus soon turns its victims aggravated, blank, or violent. Naomi and her friends must survive on their own, without lucid adults, cut off from the rest of the world, until a cure is found.
But there are whispers that ADS is not terrestrial, and soon Naomi and her friends learn the frightening truth: we are not alone
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Guest Post: Which of the characters in this book do you relate to the most? In what ways?
Because I usually write in first person I’m continually placing myself directly in the point of view of the main character(s). In first person you see and experience everything through that one character (more than one character when writing in alternating first person which I’ve done in some of my other books) so you can’t help but feel close to them. It’s almost like being an actor – you need to develop a deep understanding of someone to write from their point of view and know what they’ll say and do in various situations.
In Stricken the main character is twelve turning thirteen-year-old Naomi Seiler so she’s the character I related to the most. But there are other reasons I feel close to Naomi too. Like me, she’s a middle class Ontario girl with Irish background. I didn’t visit Ireland until I was an adult but because I spent so much time there in my twenties—and still visit yearly—I really related to Naomi’s feelings in Chapter One: “Because we spent every July in Dublin, my time in Ireland felt sort of like another life. One with a different house and different friends. But even those differences felt almost normal to me.”
Unlike me, Naomi’s a hockey player and avid fan of the sport. I can probably count on one hand the number of professional hockey games I’ve sat through in my life. I’m not a big sports fan in general but my Dad passionately LOVES the Montreal Canadiens and my brother was a goalie as a kid so I definitely grew up in a hockey-loving family. It’s hard not to have some awareness of hockey in Canada; it’s knitted so deeply into the fabric of this country.
I think Naomi is stronger and surer of herself than I was at her age. I don’t mean that she’s not scared when the memory virus in Stricken picks up steam and society starts to fall apart, because of course she is, but for the most part she holds herself together. In many ways writing from Naomi’s point of view came very naturally—her fears, her loyalty to her friends, how close she is to her parents. I hope readers will feel they can relate to her too.
Title: Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced Author: R.J. Garcia
Genre: Young Adult Mystery | Number of Pages: 326
Publisher: The Parliament House | Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with Finn Wilds, a rebellious local who lives with his volatile and abusive stepfather, who also happens to be the town’s sheriff. Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?
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MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
Fourteen year old, Tommy, and his four-year-old little sister, Isabel, was soon to arrive at their Uncles' home...an uncle they never had met!
They had always lived in Chicago. They had no idea what their life would be like in the small town of Summertime, Indiana. Restless an fearful of the unknown, somehow, Tommy would protect Isabel.
Trepidation filled Tommy and silence encompassed Isabel as his Uncle Holden and his wife Reese,. tried to make "small talk" on their way to their "new home". After arriving Uncle Holden introduced them to his neighbors, Finn, (Tommy's age) and his younger siblings, one the same age as Isabel...little did they each know these would become devoted close friends.
Tommy's uncle soon led them to a pink bedroom upstairs for Isabel and in the basement was Tommy's small room...he'd had much worse.
At the bus stop Monday, Tommy joined Finn as they boarded the bus. Soon the bus stopped and two young girls got on. One was cute and blond -Silence - and the other not s noticeable and had a mouth full of metal - Annie. The four of them would become the young "Mispalced Nocturnals.".
This is an eerie, mysterious, young love, and unexpected friendship tale The suspense and mystery builds until the very end of the story. Things are not always as they seem!
Although the story is told by two different individuals, the "flow" is not interrupted and it is easily discovered who is telling his part of the tale.
The mystique deepens and the suspense builds as the tale nears its end. It will surely keep the reader's attention.
This covers many subject matters such as: bullying, abuse, addiction, first date, first kiss, new environment, human frailties, deceit, trust, loyalty, and childlessness, plus, more.
The characters,and scenes are both depicted very well and the reader almost feels as if he.she is there among them. The Book Cover is a great "fit" but not eye-catching to the"browser". The Title is intriguing and fits well.
*Beware: there is sometimes strong language but no real profanity.
I offer a Four and a Half stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no expectations of a positive review. This is my honest review.
R.J. Garcia is a wife, and proud mom of two smart kids. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels!
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