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REVIEW: “151 Days” by John Goode

ABOUT:

With just 151 days left until the school year ends, Kyle Stilleno is running out of time to fulfill the promise he made and change Foster, Texas, for the better. But Kyle and his boyfriend, Brad Graymark, have more than just intolerance to deal with. Life, college, love, and sex have a way of distracting them, and they’re realizing Foster is a bigger place than they thought. When someone from their past returns at the worst possible moment, graduation becomes the least of their worries.

REVIEW:

I have been a fan of the Foster High books, since the first edition of the short story, Maybe with a Chance of Certainty, the one that started everything. I definitely didn’t imagine that it would come to this point – a story that started with that lovely feeling of first love, has now covered bullying, being outcast, and in the last book…

** SPOILER ALERT **

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teenage suicide

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Now, at the 176k word count, 151 Days is the longest story to date and marked an ending to tales coming from Foster High School (though stories from the characters might continue).

There were so many issues that John Goode presented in this book – at times I did feel it became overwhelming. I tried not to spoil much but there was one VERY intense chapter and a LOT of drama, including between the adults. It did seem that John wanted to make sure that every question was answered and every problem got the closure. I could understand though. I saw these changes that happened in Foster and all these things were highly related. It brought up things that were buried secret, and these kids forced people in Foster to face it with them. So yes, it was overwhelming but it was good.

The characters were excellent – again, it was such a journey seeing how these kids developed from the previous stories. I loved how Kyle became Brad’s sun and sky, because Kyle was the one with the dream and determination. But at the same time, Brad was Kyle’s “earth” so to speak, because Brad kept Kyle grounded.

Another shout out is for Robbie. He was one of a kind. I didn’t know if I wanted to hate him or to feel sorry for him or just hug him. Robbie is one of John’s most complex characters, and I’d love to see his story of moving on. Josh became one of my favorite secondary characters and I loved how Jennifer was written as well.

There was one technical issue that I wanted to raise in this review. We had perspectives from multiple characters relating to specific events. For me, it bogged the story down. It was like taking one step forward and two steps back. We have one character narrating then it stopped and I was transported back to beginning of that scene from different perspectives. Especially during a chapter that involved a character named Jeremy – it took steps back way, way before, back to the previous books. It felt repetitive and I skimmed some of the dialogue because of that. I understand that this is the way for me, as a reader, to understand the reason behind every action. But it disrupted the flow of the story.

So all in all, I do think some readers will find it as too much drama. Other readers will find the writing annoying. Others may find it a bit too “after-school-special” preachy. But I think no readers – who have followed this series from beginning – will think that there are loose ends. It has been a great journey, especially for Kyle and Brad, and I’m happy that I’ve been with them throughout.

RATING: 4 STARS

BOOK INFO:

pBjKhmhTitle: 151 Days (Tales from Foster High: Book Three)
Author: John Goode
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Pages: 350 (Word Count: 176,721)
Release Date: March 20, 2014
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner/Harmony Ink, ARe, Amazon

About Ami

My name is Ami and I'm an Indonesian girl in my mid 30's, living in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I used to do a lot of journal writing in a different website but over the years, I started to lose interest. I am, instead, pretty active in reading and writing opinion in Goodreads. Then I start thinking that maybe I can have a blog in which I write mostly about books or joy of reading or anything related to reading activity, really. So this is what this blog is for ... although, I may be inspired to write off-books topic as well :)

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This entry was posted on March 22, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Ami, YA / NA and tagged , , , .

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