Sunday, February 24, 2013

Atomic Summer by Elaine D. Walsh

This is a story about growing up from a small town.  Things that seem so very important to you, are specks of dust in the sea of life.  Yet we cling to events as major milestones, because they are.  At least to those living them they are.

Most of the characters in this book revel in the we are getting out of dodge and see the world thought patterns, yet as so often happens of course, the ones who squawk the loudest are the ones who stay all their lives.

The story could have actually been based on real events.  And, the characters could have been real as well, but even if they are, one of them just seemed too naive to be believed.  I kept wanting to say REALLY? 

As these people aged, I didn't feel their maturity gained any footage.  I wanted something more to happen, something that I wasn't expecting, but it just didn't.  I think the author has great potential and should have allowed herself to really embellish the story and characters.  There didn't seem to be a real plot to the story, just a story.  No turns you didn't see coming, as the author told a little too much for you not to read between the lines.  So the surprise was never a surprise.

For instance, who the characters were behind the mask they showed to the world were pretty obvious even though it was, I believe, supposed to be a surprise to you like it was to the main character.  How each person reacted to that surprise was not developed enough for me to grab onto.  I felt the main character was too naive, and the second one too ridiculous to be taken seriously.  It just seemed like no one would really act that way, or do the things they did.  Maybe I just didn't understand it.  Or maybe I just didn't want to, I don't know. 

It was not a book I couldn't put down, and not one I would ever read twice.  If you like stories of growing up, and how that impacts your future, then you might like this book.  I thought the story was okay, but I would not recommend it as a good read.  I would like to read the author's next book though, as I feel she has the ability to really put on a show if she lets her characters develop, and sets the twists and turns stage without opening the curtain part way before raising it.
Could there be a sequel to this one.... no.  I wouldn't want there to be, the characters were just not that likeable.  But I think a fresh storyline, new characters that you don't see coming, and Elaine's writing quality could go far.  I sense a novel with impact in her future bubbling in her thoughts, just waiting to be written.  I would definitely read this author again, she has great potential, and abilities.