Chop, Chop, which seems to be geared toward older teens, has been free for the month of February. I downloaded it to my Kindle based upon comments I found. Everyone seemed to love it, and the reviews on Amazon are also positive.
TITLE: Chop, Chop
AUTHOR: L.N. Cronk
BLURB: Greg and Laci make it a regular practice to grow their hair long so that they can chop it off and send it to Locks of Love. It's only one of the things that reserved, young David must tolerate as their friendship grows throughout the years. As they near adulthood the three become closer not only to each other, but to God as well. David finds himself content in every way, but when tragedy strikes, David must struggle to find his way back to God.
COVER: Perfect based upon Greg's and Laci's practice of growing their hair and then cutting it to send to Locks of Love. I like that it's black and white. Not all the covers for the sequels are, but this first book in the Chop, Chop series and the sixth book, Gone, are designed that way. It's odd, though, that the author's name isn't on the cover.
FIRST CHAPTER: I can't share the opening because it would ruin the impact of reading it, but David is the narrator who is telling the story of the summer Greg moved to town. David and Laci have known each other since preschool, and this is the summer before they start seventh grade. David and Laci, along with some of their other friends, end up joining the youth group at church where Greg's father is the youth pastor (I'm guessing, because it doesn't flat out say that). When David tells Greg about Laci's practice of growing her hair and then cutting it and donating it, Greg decides it's a great idea. David, however, who has never been a fan of Laci looking like a boy, is certain he doesn't want to grow his hair.
KEEP READING: Yes, but mainly based upon comments about how wonderful this story is and how it garnered an Honorable Mention at the 2008 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
I loved the opening. It's shocking and it's powerful. David quickly moves us from the present, back to the summer he and his friends met Greg. Laci is very much a part of David's life by the time Greg comes along, and David admits if he's to tell the story he has to start with Laci because it starts and ends with Laci and him.
David is an excellent narrator. You get the feeling that he's a good deal older when he tells the story than when the events occurred. There are funny spots, even though he is called grumpy by his friends. And you get the sense that teenage David believes things should be a certain way: girls shouldn't have short hair and look like boys and boys don't grow their hair long either.
David is one reason I want to continue reading, but the opening plays a big role too, because you know something bad happened somewhere along the line. I can't say I was totally drawn in by this first chapter, but I'm interested enough to keep going. My only criticism is that there aren't clear chapter markings. There are breaks marked by "~ ~ ~" but if there wasn't so much white space left on the last page of what I would call the first chapter, you wouldn't know. Call me silly, I just like to be sure when a chapter ends.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 396 KB
Publisher: Rivulet Publishing (July 12, 2008)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
I downloaded a free copy of this book to my Kindle. I received no monetary compensation for this review.