Author: Storyheart (a.k.a. Barry Eva)
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Publication Date: September 2008
Number of Pages: 117
When almost fifteen-year-old, English born Fred Squire’s parents win a trip to Australia, Fred finds himself packed off to visit family friends in the United States. Even worse, he’s given a boring language project to complete. But then he meets Brittany.
Fred soon finds himself struggling, not only with his growing feelings for Brit, but also with the language differences. A state confusion, that increases when he meets Brit’s flirtatious friend, Angel. Escaping from a confrontation with Steve Harris, the neighborhood bully, Brit tells Fred her dark secret about Harris, and Fred´s world is turned upside down.
Life continues to throw Fred a curveball when he catches a ball worth thousands of dollars at a baseball game. Further angry run-ins with Harris, a crazy family BBQ, and being chased through a Boston mall all add to the thrill of Fred´s American adventure. A final fight between Fred and Harris, leads Brit to at last reveal her painful secret to her parents.
"Brit and her Brit", know that their young love will be followed by heartache when Fred has to return back "Across the Pond" to England. However, not before some final twists in the tale.
For those reviewers out there who read this blog, have you ever had trouble finding a way to start a review? Do you ever type a sentence only to quickly delete it and start over? It's not just me, is it? This isn't the first time this has happened to me and my theory is because I have a lot I want to say about the book, and I simply can't find away to organize all of those thoughts in my head. Keeping that in mind, I'm going to break this all down so I won't get a migraine:
Writing: Barry Eva's writing was nice. It wasn't beautifully lyrical or anything like that and even though I think sometimes it was a bit boring, I wasn't tempted to put the book down. I enjoyed reading the thoughts of the main character, Fred, as he was both funny at times and, well, not as immature as I know most of the boys in my class are. Eva's writing was straight-forward making this a short, but very pleasant read.
Point of View: By reading the back cover of this book, you might think that the plot is a bit ordinary but that's not the case. The way the author decided to write from Fred's POV . . . it was perfect. If the POV was written from Brit's point of view then I can only imagine it as her gushing over how great Fred was (which I would be doing too), but we already know what Brit is thinking as - how do I put this? - it seems there are more avid female readers in the world then males. From Fred's POV we get to see everything from a guys perspective, which is not normally something we find in YA literature (at least for me). This novel was very refreshing as it was like looking across the pond. ;)
Grammatical Errors: This is probably just the inner perfectionist in me speaking out but I did notice I few errors in the writing - forgotten punctuation, phrases put into italics when it wasn't necessary etc. Even though this didn't really effect the story it was - at least for me - a bit distracting.
Ending: I must say that I really like the ending. At first near the last 20 pages or so I was getting quite upset because . . . well, I can't really tell you now can I? Let's just say that some people did not seem to agree that "the pen is mightier then the sword" and that made me quite upset as I am a strong believer in that quote. Anyways, I was feeling a tad annoyed but the very end - oh, did it ever make up for it!! I loved it!
The Bottom Line: Overall, this is quite a nice novel that may need a little editing but is quite enjoyable. Perfect to read right before, or on a vacation out of the country! B+