Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: One Boy's Shadow by Ross A. McCoubrey

TITLE: One Boy's Shadow

AUTHOR: Ross A. McCoubrey

PUBLISHER: iUniverse 

Rated: 5/5 Hearts

Fifteen-year-old Caleb Mackenzie doesn’t put up a fight when his father announces the family is moving to Stapeton, Nova Scotia. In fact, Caleb looks forward to a fresh start in the scenic little area. Their new home, Wakefield House, sports large rooms, a big barn where Caleb can work on cars, and acres of forested land for privacy. But it also has a troubling past. In 1943, a boy who lived in the home vanished.

Caleb hears the stories about what may have occurred so many years ago, but he passes them off as folklore until one day he’s alone in the woods and hears the faintest whisper. Did someone in the distance just call his name? And what about his discovery in the hayloft? Could there be something to those old stories after all?

The initial need to dismiss everything as coincidence becomes a soul-searching journey into the past where Caleb is determined to uncover the truth about what really happened to the missing boy. And in the process, he learns even more about himself and what’s really important.

Set in Nova Scotia, Ross McCoubrey, penned a young adult coming of age tale all wrapped up in a mystery that is decades old. When Caleb's parents decided to purchase Wakefield House, he quickly made friends with Shane, a boy his age that tells him of the home's mysterious past. Shane tells the story of a young man who disappears into the woods, never to be found again. 

Caleb and Shane were fast friends, that grow into more. As they discover their awakening feelings for each other, and they deal with what that means, with their friends, family and each other, they are also searching to find the answers to what happened to young Tobey Everett. 

Throughout the story you really come to know Shane, Caleb, and Tobey. You get to know some of the fears and issues that coming out as a young gay person an be. The fears that the people that love and are for you would turn their backs over something you cannot control. It was a beautifully crafted story, about what's important, about falling in love and about holding on to  the important things. You also find out what hate can do, and how vicious it can be. 

I really can't tell you how much I loved this story. It goes to show that you don't need explicit sex scenes to make a novel (not that I am opposed to those because I like them.. a lot) This is a story I'd recommend to anyone. I'd encourage any teen to read it.

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