Jessie (Coastal Chronicles Book 2) by Rebekah Lyn
Publication: July 2014, Real Life Books & Media, 368 pages
My Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
Description: The four Cole boys suffer abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father, while largely being left to their own devices by a heartbroken and overworked mother. Their adventures on their island home have become a welcome escape, and one of the only things in life the boys can truly rely on. Jessie, the youngest and a dreamer, becomes enamored with US plans for manned space flight and its race to the moon, stirring his own dreams of one day becoming an astronaut. In a strange twist of fate, it is the space program and the momentum it gains that abruptly brings their beloved island life to an end. The family is forced to move to the city and start anew.
Life in town creates new challenges, financial pressures, and news of the Vietnam War and the impending threat of the military draft for Max the eldest of the Cole brothers.
My Review: Jessie and his family live in Florida and are basically kicked out of their home because of the space program in the mid-60s. Moving was very difficult for them--dealing with bullies, school, an alcoholic father, etc. I loved the way Jessie learned to survive and the relationship he had with his brothers was incredible. They really watched out for one another. I loved the positive male influences that Jessie had in his life. The respect these boys showed to their teachers, mother, and even father is inspiring. Jessie's passion for the space program dictated his life and really gave him direction.
When I was young, I, too, was fascinated with the space program. I remember watching the launches on tv at school. I remember being saddened by the space shuttle explosion in 1986 and having a real desire to become an astronaut. I become very immersed in this story because I found a lot of it easy to relate to. Unlike me, Jessie did a lot of research on the astronauts and the rockets. He knew pretty much everything related to his love. I loved watching him grow, mature, and focus. I felt that these experiences, even Vietnam, were very true to history and the story progressed in a very realistic way.
Jessie had a high school sweetheart, Virginia. I would have liked to see more resolution with that situation, even though it wasn't the main focus of the story. Other than that, I thought it was a well-researched and written historical story that was very entertaining.
Content: no language; some violence--fighting, alcoholic abuse (none of it was extremely graphic); some kissing, but very mild. Clean!
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