Paperback, 250 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2015 by WiDo Publishing
(first published April 18th 2015)
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Description: Merrill Hinton is a lightning rod in a town named for bad weather. He's an ace in math, but not smart enough to put together the pieces of his puzzling life, especially where finding his unknown father is concerned.
Musical genius Robbie Stubbs was born in nearby polygamist compound Colorado City. He has the chops to become another John Coltrane, but that will take running away from home, and into a firestorm of controversy--the kind his friend Merrill knows best.
Merrill sets Robbie onto a course that could rocket them both onto center stage, but being the focus of wide public attention will create serious issues. Robbie’s mother is not well, and the shock of her son breaking the family rules like this may put her over the edge.
And Merrill Hinton? His precarious future would become compromised in ways he doesn't yet realize.
My Review: Merrill is an extremely smart high school student, but he doesn't do well socially. He doesn't know his dad, has a mom who is a big activist and helps rescue polygamous victims, and a sweet grandma who tells him how it is. He's trying to figure out who he is and what he wants to do with his life. A random meeting with Robbie, a boy from the nearby polygamist compound, changes Merrill's life. Robbie is a genius when it comes to music and will do almost anything to succeed, even giving up his family.
Merrill and Robbie are so similar, yet so different. They come from different worlds, but they both show a lot of bravery and strength. I love Merrill's grandma--she is so accepting and loves those around her unconditionally.
I love the unlikely friendship that forms when decisions are made and opportunities are taken to embark on this road to growing up. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I feel after reading this. I was excited, nervous, and happy for these boys, yet my heart was wrenched in places and I felt emotionally drained. There were a few parts that I wish had been fleshed out just a little more, but overall, this was a great journey with well-written characters and a fantastic setting.
Content: mild language (a few mild words); mild religious elements (one boy is a Mormon and one is FLDS, but not much religion is discussed, aside from a few morals each has--definitely not preachy); very mild romance (very brief mention of an unwed mother, crushes); very mild violence (brief mention of abuse).