Some reviews come to be as soon as I put a book down. Some take some time to percolate. Some start writing themselves before I ever finish the book. 151 Day by John Goode was definitely in the third group. I hope I manage to remember everything I want to say and make it coherent.
Author: John Goode
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Sequel to End of the Innocence
Tales from Foster High: Book Three
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.
Do you ever finish a book and just know they got it right? You just feel like they author and was in your head and writing the story exactly like you think it needed to go. That isn’t to say that everything was roses in the entire story. Bad things happen. People act like assholes. People go off the rails. People amaze you.
151 Days is the last in the Tales from Foster High series. I have it on good authority that is won’t be the last we see of Brad & Kyle, Robbie, Matt & Tyler, and I certainly hope that is true (*cough*Robbie needs his happily ever after*cough*). But the town has given up its secrets. The town is a better place because of one 17/18 year old boy. If you have read Tales From Foster High (or the novellas) and End of the Innocence (and even Taking Chances), you know what I mean when I say Foster was as much a main character in this story as Brad & Kyle ever were.
This book pays homage to everyone that has stuck with the boys. It sends the boys off into the world; it gives them hope for their future. It also gives the reader quite a ride along the way. While Goode once again employees his Ferris Bueller style of mixing first and second person narrative and switching points of view, we see more than just Brad and Kyle this time. We get a little bit from everyone and a lot from some. There are times where this does bog the story down some. Personally, I think a lot of Jennifer’s point of view could have been eliminated. Other times, however, I don’t think the story could have been told in any other way.
Goode uses the format to create suspense (and frustration in the reader), but he never leaves the reader hanging for too long. In the mean time, distracts you with interesting dialogue and events.
Which, by the way, should be a warning sign for everyone out there. If everyone you know is telling you the same thing, you are either wrong or everyone else has been taken over by aliens, which means you’re screwed anyways. There are no aliens in this story, so that means I was dead wrong.
Some reviewers reserve 5 stars for those books that are absolutely perfect. No flaws, nothing to piss you off, etc. I don’t do that. Was this book perfect? There were a few characters that, even in the end, I wanted to strangle. There were a few times I was not completely sure of the timeline or feasibility of the action. There were a few times my virtual red pen wanted to make an appearance. But with a story filled with as many important and transcendent messages as 151 Days, I couldn’t give it anything less that 5 stars. Really… I tried to give it 4.5 and my fingers deleted the 4. and made me put just a 5. I told you, books tell me what to rate them.
When a person puts a uniform on, raises their hand, and swears to uphold and defend the Constitution, the rights given to Americans by that Constitution become something special. If I am going to take a bullet for those damn words, those words better mean something. Not just for the people I agree with, but for everyone. I take that pretty seriously, because if my friends died just so some jackasses could only dole out rights and privileges to the people they liked, then my friends died for nothing.
As I said before, the entire Tales from Foster High series is about not only overcoming intolerance, but also about redemption. It is a look at how one person can make the difference in the masses. It is a look at how teenagers should never be ignored or underestimated. Their pain is real. Their actions have consequences. They can make a difference, one way or another.
When I started the Foster series, I was concerned about the how my state would be portrayed. I am a born and bred Texan. I grew up in a town not all that different than Foster, to tell you the truth. Ultraconservative with a bit of a “head in the sand” mentality. As a matter of fact, I did my undergrad studies at the real version of the University fictionalized in 151 Days. Read the Tales From Foster High series (with Taking Chances) and know that you can make a difference. Know that you aren’t alone, even if you think you might be. Even if you live in an ultraconservative hick town, you are not the only one with an open mind. It just might take some work to find your kindred spirit.
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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