Thursday, August 10, 2017

Random Review: Dolphins in the Mud by Jo Ramsey #Review #Giveaway

Author: Jo Ramsey
Book: Dolphins in the Mud 2nd edition
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publication date: August 8, 2017
Length: 180 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Stranded. Hopeless. Trapped. No one to turn to and no way to reach the freedom just beyond his grasp….

That’s how Chris Talberman feels when his family moves to an isolated New England coastal town and leaves him alone to care for his severely autistic sister, Cece.

Chris knows how the dolphins stranded in the cove near his home must feel—he understands their struggle better than he can express. But the tragic event has a silver lining. It’s there, while chasing his sister, that Chris meets Noah, a boy his age who is as kind and handsome as he is fascinating. Not only has Chris found the friend he needed, but the possibility for love—

Until Chris’s mother abandons the family and Noah reveals his own hidden pain. Now Chris must care for the person he thought would care for him.

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A beautiful cover, an intriguing blurb, and a wonderful title had me really wanting to read Jo Ramsey's Dolphins in the Mud. I am a huge fan of YA books and Harmony Ink, the YA imprint of Dreamspinner Press always delivers YA books that are well-written with story lines that are relevant and full of memorable characters. I had such a high hopes for this book, unfortunately for me it fell a bit short of what I was hoping for. 

From the blurb you can see how wonderfully well the story line coincides so brilliantly with the title. I was very impressed by that. Chris Talberman is lonely. He's just moved away from his friends to a small town in coastal New England. For the most part, his only company is his sister, Cece, who is autistic. This doesn't stop the two from having a strong and beautiful sibling relationship though. In fact there's no one that understands Cece better than Chris. His parents, for a multitude of puzzling reasons, leave most of Cece's caretaking to Chris which often leaves him feeling overwhelmed and alone ... until one day the mysterious Noah shows up on the beach.

Noah and Chris hit it off right away and though Noah has his own secrets, the two strike up a friendship that they both desperately need. This is a true coming of age story so there's not a lot of romance going on here, but more of a growing up and figuring things out. I got frustrated with Chris. His actions at time are rude and selfish ... but then again a lot of sixteen year old's are so it's important to remember that the characters don't have to 'act' and think like we believe they should.

For me, my issue with the book is the slow pace and the somewhat choppy writing. I'm okay with there not being a whole lot of romance so to speak, but the book was mainly about Chris and his sister with a bit of page time for Chris and Noah. The slow pacing left me wishing for more and not connecting with the characters as much as I would have liked. Give this one a try though. It has an important message well worth taking the time to read.


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