Monday, June 3, 2013

Benedict Hall-Cate Campbell

Benedict Hall

Cate Campbell

Kensington, May 28 21013, $15.00

ISBN: 9780758287595

WWI changed society as etiquette rules seem inane when soldiers dealt with mustard gas and suffragettes demand their rights including the vote and Prohibition.

In 1920 Seattle, the wealthy and their servants also feel the winds of change. Affluent Preston Benedict invites his comrade in arms former Wyoming rancher Frank Parrish to dinner at his family’s mansion. Frank lost an arm in combat but obtained a job with Boeing in Seattle. Preston’s sister Margot and Frank become friends and begin to fall in love as he encourages her to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. Before the war Preston was sadistic though servants risked his wrath to protect his kind caring sister, but now he adds a rage and a need at all costs to return to a seemingly dead past when the Benedicts were one of Seattle’s blueblood ruling families.

Benedict Hall is at its best when the focus is on the major societal impacts brought forth by WWI; the storyline adds excitement but somewhat disengages when Preston’s over the top psychopathic behavior takes center stage as he acts beyond frustrated and opposed to the changes. Still fans will enjoy Cate Campbell’s overall entertaining look at the Pacific Northwest just after the “war to end all wars” ended.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dare You To-Katie McGarry

Dare You To

Katie McGarry

Harlequin Teen, May 28 2013, $17.99

ISBN: 9780373210633

Bullit County students Chris, Ryan and other friends drive the thirty minutes to Louisville competing in a game of dare to get the most girls’ phone numbers. At a Taco Bell, Chris dares Ryan to get the number of a kick butt Skater Girl Beth with torn jeans. She tells Ryan to open her car door if he wants her number; waiting for her are two mean looking males Noah and Isaiah. Ryan loses the game.

The bartender calls Beth to get her drunken mom out of the bar before he calls the cops. Her mom blames Beth for men leaving before using a baseball bat on her latest live in boyfriend Trent’s car. When the cops arrive, Beth says she did it. Her mom’s sister Aunt Shirley fears her niece will do time so calls Beth’s paternal Uncle Scott who forced her mom to sign over legal guardianship to him. Uncle Scoot tells Beth either move to Groveton or visit her mom in prison. In Groveton, she meets the Taco Bell jock as Ryan is the local high school star pitcher. As the teens fall in love, Beth feels she is not worthy of him.

Rotating perspective, Katie McGarry provides an engaging character-driven tale of an at-risk teen with plenty of family tsuris in the big city and the burbs where she feels like a fish out of water. Although the transitions do not always flow smoothly, teenage readers will appreciate this deep hardcore is thriller as Katie McGarry once again is Pushing The Limits.

Harriet Klausner