Tuesday, December 20, 2011

AT THE END OF THE ROAD by Grant Jenkins

Publisher: Berkley Crime
Date published: November 2011
ISBN: 9780425243343
Trade Paperback
Reviewed by Angie
Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Kyle Edwards is a typical ten year old boy. He has no fear of the unknown, just of what he has been taught. He knows not to talk to strangers, about local legendary tales and what he has heard on television, yet riding his bike down the middle of the road holds no fear - until one day…

Kyle spends most of his days playing with his little sister, trying to track and spy on his older brothers and riding his bike through the only world she knows. One day in 1976 everything turns upside down beginning with a woman in a blue car nearly running him down on his bike, and flipping her car over in the process. He knows she is hurt, yet he runs knowing the accident is his fault. He will forever remember his part in the changes of the lives of those around him.

AT THE END OF THE ROAD is a horrific tale told by way of memories. The haunting story is filled with bad times, images and memories that no ten year old should ever need learn about. Although it is a page turner, it left this reader horrified that someone's mind could even create the scenarios involved, there is definitely no happily ever after in this novel.

As a reader I felt very "outside" the story, I could not stop reading yet none of the characters pulled at me, made me WANT the best case scenario - the villain from the beginning felt very obvious, and I never wanted him to be just a cripple with a bad vibe. The little boy tugged at my heart, yet he never came off the pages and felt real, just as though he and his little sister were characters in a sad, scary story to be told around the campfire to scare others.

My biggest issue with this story was that I felt pulled in and out of scenes, I did not feel as though they were happening in any sort of order, yet as though from chapter to chapter we back tracked, jumped around and just landed wherever the author choose us to be. The story felt like it was taking place over months and even years, yet the entire tale seems to have happened in just a few weeks. For example, the car accident opened the entire novel, yet about a third of the way through the novel the "woman" comes back into the tale as though it was just days later. Then it back tracks to say she has been locked in the villains attic for weeks, without food and water whilst he is in the hospital. This left me confused and wanting more. Each chapter is well written, they just feel as though they are out of order, and need more continuation.

All in all a book worth reading, just not something this reader would choose again.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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