This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is This Book Perilous? Yes it is.

          Today I am finally getting around to reviewing one of the books that was included on my 2010 Christmas Holiday Reading List.  Author Tamara Hart Heiner from the blog Chasing Dreams is the author of the YA book Perilous.

          As far as I know I don't think I've ever read anything that is considered young adult or teenage literature unless the Tom Swift and Hardy Boys series would fall into this genre.  I wasn't totally sure what to expect from a genre labeled as "Young Adult", but Heiner's first published novel is pretty much what I thought I would find.

          Since I guess I am a good ways past the "young adult" phase I decided that I would have to try to read Perilous through the eyes of a younger reader and imagine how they might see this novel.   My impression that most teens, male and female alike, would enjoy the story and the way Tamara presents it.  And for that matter so did I as an older reader.

               This is an exciting action thriller that moves with intensity.  Four teen-age girls witness a jewel heist at a shopping mall and are abducted by the burglary gang.  They are taken from Idaho to the headquarters of the gang's ringleader, a notorious criminal known as "The Hand", who hides out in Quebec, Canada.  The stakes are raised after the girls escape from the gang's hideout and attempt to make their way home on foot, not knowing whom to trust since The Hand is intent on finding them.

             The story relies on some rather extreme coincidence and some illogical behavior from the characters, but that's what helps make the story more intriguing.   Some readers may need to add an extra dose of willing suspension of disbelief to keep from rolling their eyes at some things in the story, but I think most younger readers will be fine with it.  I was certainly willing to go along with all of it in order to enjoy the story.  Tamara has skillfully presented the story so that everything happens with a natural flow and the readers are kept on the edge of their seats to see what happens next.

            Perilous is mostly a road story--a journey home.  Tamara does an exceptional job of depicting that journey.   In fact, I pulled out my North American highway atlas to see if the places she mentions and the route her characters take were accurate.  The author did her research well.  I was able to follow the teens' journey and felt like I was right there with them.  I was very impressed by sense of place and the descriptions of settings in the novel.

          This book deals with some mature and serious themes including violence and rape.  It raises some questions of moral ambiguity related to stealing, divorce, and corruption.  However, all of these issues are presented discreetly and in good taste.  The issues allow for some good topics of discussion and thought.  Perilous is a wholesomely presented story of real life problems and is suitable for all teens. 

            Tamara Hart Heiner's Perilous is a book that parents should feel comfortable in allowing their teenagers to read.  It's also a book that I would recommend to adult readers who like a well told story that avoids bad language and scenes that one might deem offensive.  This is a fun reading diversion that deals with relevant topics. 

            One of the bigger issues that some may find with this book it that it leaves a lot of loose ends.  Those who want their endings neat and resolved may be disappointed.   This book demands a sequel or perhaps even a series.  I was sad to see the book end where it did and was left wanting more.  Now I'll have to wait for the next book.  Don't leave us waiting too long, Tamara.


Check this out!

Karen Gowen is posting something today (2/22/11) about how to use the A to Z Challenge to gain more followers.  Be sure to check her blog, Coming Down the Mountain, to learn from a blogger who has successfully helped many increase their numbers of followers.

And this!

Tizzy at Impossible Dreams is looking for some more participants in her NIFTY FIFTY Blogfest to celebrate her first 50 followers.  It happens this Saturday February 26th.   If you're looking for a bit of diversionary fun with a chance at a cool prize, why don't you check it out.



  1. wonderful review Lee, it's good there are books that are readable for the younger age group without worrying what the content may be,

    Have a good day.

  2. Hello Lee. Just popped in to say hi and see what you've been up to. It sounds as if you really enjoyed Perilous and by the review you gave it it seems to me that parents who want to encourage their children to read instead of just sitting in front of the box may have something to give at birthday time.

  3. 275 people signed up so far! Yay! I can't wait for April to begin.

  4. Great review. I don't read a lot but you even made me want to get a copy.

  5. I have Perilous on my Kindle, but I haven't read it yet - looking forward to it :)

  6. I really enjoyed Perilous. The intensity and action she shoves into the story had me barely able to come up for air as I devoured it. Very, very great read.

    We're doing fantastic at the A-Z challenge sign up list!!! Look forward to Karen's piece today!!

  7. What a super book review. I do that too, take out maps to follow the story. I'll check out Karen's post but I'm already doing the wonderful A to Z challenge.

  8. it has a very strange book cover for a YA novel.

  9. Great review, Lee. I enjoyed Tamara's book too!

  10. Excellent review Lee! Sounds like an interesting read. It's good to know the book presents some serious topics that are handled in a manner that would make parents comfortable.

  11. Yvonne-- I am always heartened when I find a book that is a wholesome read for younger readers as well as myself.

    Geoff -- I wish I had spent more time reading when I was young than watching TV.

    Ellie -- The sign-ups are really going well!

    Odie -- I recommend this book to anyone who likes an action adventure story.

    Jemi -- Since you're a teacher you might have a special appreciation for it and the setting gets close to home for you in some places.

    Jen -- I found myself reading this one much more quickly than I've read a lot of books.

    Clarissa -- If I don't believe the settings then the story loses a lot for me.

    Dezmond -- Don't judge a book by it's cover! I guess the picture is depicting one of the times when they are being held captive or hiding out. At least it's not some hokey colorful cover that doesn't depict the spirit of the book.

    Matthew -- This review was a pleasure.

    Talli -- Tamara did a good job.

    Paula -- That is what impressed me about it. It's not a silly childish read, but it doesn't distract with unneeded profanity or graphic scenes.

  12. What a wonderful review of an excellent book. I hope you will post this on the Amazon site for Perilous to help Tamara's sales. It's true, her book isn't the typical YA fare, going from the cover, to the detective's viewpoint as a character-- but it is more like what I WISH YA fiction were like, and I'd read more of it instead of avoiding practically all of it.

  13. Don't have much background on YA reading except for the Swedish writer Henning Mankell and, most recently, "Eli the Good" by favorite KY author Silas House. If I were still teaching middle and high school literature would definitely want students to read House's novel.

    Your Blogging A to Z challenge sounds like a great way to building a blog community. I'll be back to get details.

  14. The book sounds like something I would really like - thanks for the review!

    And good luck with your A-Z Challenge, sounds like it's going to be very successful.

  15. Great review! Sounds like a wonderful book. :D

  16. Not much for reading YA either. And Karen's post was great!

  17. You've presented a great introduction to this novel, making it desirable to read while pointing out some of its flaws. I'm glad you took the time and initiative to address some of the topics that arise in the book and to clarify that they are not graphic and suitable for teens. I like to read questionable books before I let my teenage daughter read them because I am rather protective in that sense, but I think you handled it well.

  18. Thanks for the review! I'm not sure if this is going on my TBR list, but you definitely gave me enough information so I know what to expect :)

  19. Great review and I'll probably get it for my I-Pad. However as a fellow writer I despise loose ends. I NEVER leave anything unresolved and I have a hard time forgiving an author who does. Well, we can't all be perfect...heh,heh,heh.

  20. KarenG--The review has been submitted to Amazon. I liked the character of the detective and can imagine a whole series with him.

    Faye -- I hope you will consider joining the Challenge.

    Susan -- Thanks for stopping to comment. Next stop A to Z--you can do it!

    Danyelle -- I liked it.

    Alex -- Karen's post was really excellent as was Talli's. After reading Perilous I'll be more apt to read other YA fiction.

    Shirley -- Thank you for your kind words. I think it's good for parents to be aware of what their kids are reading, watching, etc.

    Jess -- You never know, you might really like it.

    Betty --If it wasn't part of a series the loose ends would be really bad, but I guess Tamara's going to tie them up in the future release(s).

  21. Thanks for the review! It does sound like a good book.

  22. "Perilous" sounds like an interesting read. Maybe Tamara is setting it up for a second book. I do enjoy your book reviews Arlee.
    Love Di ♥

  23. Arlee, thank you so much! I'm so glad that you pointed out that this book is YA and so you read it w/ a grain of salt. I think that's very very important!

  24. I, too, thought it had a strange book cover. But, with a title like "Perilous," I guess that makes sense. Great review!

  25. This sounds like an interesting book! I have not seen it before but will be curious to check it out further!

  26. I didn't judge the book, Arlee, I just made a comment on it's cover. I'm not saying the book isn't good, I'm saying that the cover is strange and unusual for a YA book, since teens and young people tend to go for more vibrant and picturesque covers and they are attracted by colours. That's why it seems unusual to me.

  27. Golden Eagle -- It's not scifi or fantasy, but you might like it.

    Diana -- Thank you. And yes there is definitely a sequel intended.

    Tamara -- I also think it's an important point lest anyone approach it as a non-YA read.

    Al -- Thanks. Yes it deals with some dark themes.

    April -- If you enjoy YA this might be something you would enjoy. It's mature, but not difficult to read.

    Dezmond --Oh, I know--I was just citing an cliche of a saying that seemed to fit. I agree that a lot of YA books sometimes have covers like you describe, almost to the point of being cartoonish or childish. I don't know if this book is a typical YA read, but not having read anything else of the genre I don't whether it is typical or not. The cover is darker and more film noirish and would not probably be attractive to "kids" who are not looking for reality based fiction.

  28. Thanks for visiting my Teaser!
    I've actually visited your blog earlier this week, but just been a lurker while trying to make up my mind about joining this April A to Z.

    I probably should, it seems like a huge time commitment though!

  29. Deepali -- Don't be overwhelmed by the thought of A to Z. It's not as huge of a commitment as it seems. It's only as big as you want to make it.

    Jennifer -- Glad you're here.

  30. Great review, thank you! It's interesting to see a YA book reviewed from the point of view of somebody who doesn't read in the field.

  31. Thanks for the review. I think a lot of authors now purposely leave an ending somewhat opened for a sequel. Maybe the write one, maybe they won't. But at least the opportunity is there for them.

  32. Great review! I have so many books on my reading list! but I did add this one to the bottom of the list. Thanks!

  33. Amie -- Now that I see they are easy to read and can be quite entertaining I may read more--I'm young at heart anyway.

    Stephen Tremp--I think it's fine if the stated intent from the outset that the book is part of a series. But if I read a book that I expect to be a stand alone, then it should stand on its own. An author should leave options open just in case they have a hit on their hands and people are clamoring for more, but a reader shouldn't be left unfilled.

    SusanB-- This one is a fast easy read so you may want to move it up.

  34. This book looks great! I may have to add it to my ever-growing wanted pile!

    And thanks for commenting: I would definately recommend it to everyone, even if you are past the YA phase!

    I'm following you now, and I loved this review!

    Happy reading.

  35. Thank you for following me.

    I think I meant childlike in the way that, say, To Kill A Mockingbird was childlike. But it does look really good!

  36. Hi, Lee! Sorry I've been away a bit *hangs head* but am back into a routine after a couple of curve balls. Such is life! Anyway, Tamara is a follower and I'm proud of her first book. Please post a review on Amazon. I can't do A-Z (no time!) but saw a couple of options. You're so nice to do all this for us!

  37. Great review Lee! I loved you got out the map and followed along, this makes the book even more realistic~ Great idea~

    Another book to add to my list; Thanks Lee~

  38. A good review Arlee. Looks like something I'd be interested in, and YA doesn't normally appeal to me. Thanks for the suggestion.


  39. Book Addict Girl-- You may like this one. And I knew what you meant--"...Mockingbird" was one that came to mind.

    Kittie -- Tamara deserves success with this one. Hope the sequel gets released soon.

    Ella -- Yeah, I'm like that with maps. When a book talks about places I like to see if it all fits with reality.

    Donna H --This was adult enough to go beyond young reading, but it was an smooth and easy read.


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