Book Review: The Changing Season by Steven Manchester
Emotional and engaging, The Changing Season displays Steven Manchester's consistent ability to create dramatic stories that pull you in.
Billy Baker is looking forward to a summer of fun hanging out with friends before they head off to college in the fall. He also wants to take advantage of all the time he has with his faithful canine companion, Jimmy.
That was before the accident that shook the entire town.
It was before Vicki captured his heart.
It was before the summer job that, all too soon, became way more than the means to pay for college.
Having read Manchester's work in the past, I expected The Changing Season to be filled with young adult angst, love, and friendship. With this novel, the author created a cast of characters that is at some points inspiring and at others frustrating. This is a book about that difficult time between the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood that often finds plans changing quickly.
What I feel is different about this book, as opposed to his others, is that it's not as optimistic as I expected. Angst is good. Drama is good. Suffering and learning from it is all right. But I truly came away from The Changing Season wishing the throttle on the angst had been pulled back a bit. Is it realistic drama? Sure. But a little more happiness wouldn't have hurt.
The pace is slow and steady, which is fine for such a story. The reader gets to understand Billy and what he's dealing with. They also get to experience how life changes for Charlie, his best friend, as a result of choices he makes.
While I wanted a different ending for some of the people, it's good that Billy has made a decision, reconciled himself to his past, and is ready to explore his future.
Hardcover: 276 pages
Publisher: Story Plant (February 16, 2016)
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.