Thursday, 5 March 2015

Calves in the Mudroom (Review)

Hi there!

(Don't forget to check out the awesomeness at the end of the post!)

Title: Calves in the Mud Room
Author:  
Jerome O Brown
Publisher:  Self-published
Published Date:  14th February 2014
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thank you to the author for the review copy*

Synopsis: Wade Summers wants nothing more than to go on his date tonight with high school hottie Glory Schoonover. Unfortunately, a fierce February blizzard has blown in and a couple of first-time heifers are calving early. Way too early. And Wade's never delivered a calf all by himself before. His grandfather was always there to show him the way. Simmering under the teenage hormones and unexpected birthing is a dutiful son who finally confronts the abuse of his shady stepfather and a betrayal by his somewhat disengaged mother. Kirkus Reviews called this coming-of-age story "An exciting, elegant debut." It's rough around the edges, full of brutal hardship, raw strength, and pure heart.
 

Review: This was an interesting book. I am not quite sure what I had expected when I began this novella (because as usual I hadn’t read the synopsis) but I rather enjoyed it.

This novella was basically a snippet of someone’s life. Wade just wants to go to prom and have a good time with a very popular girl who happened to ask him. But on his way, all sorts of things happen. Like his good for nothing step father gets involved and also those cows won’t stop calving. It holds him up, and before he knows it he is chasing after his girl to get to the prom.

At the beginning of the novella where all the calving was happening I was worried I had stumbled into another book that was simply about farming like There's a House in the Land. But don’t worry, it isn’t like that! It actually only lasts a few pages and then before you know it Wade is on his way to the prom ;)

My, Wade does not have an easy life! His home situation reminded me of Shut Up by Anne Tibbets. His step father isn’t helping anything and his mother is a drunk who doesn’t seem to care too much about anything. Poor Wade had to see his mother shamed and broken in so many ways, it really made me feel for him. But he tried to look after his mother best he could, as well as his three siblings. He was only a teenager but he had to deal with all these problems himself.

I thought this book also had a pretty realistic view of what high school can be like sometimes. Say the wrong thing to the wrong girl and people will turn on you. Say the right thing to the wrong person and everyone will find you uncool. It’s hard to be invisible even if you want to be, and sometimes both options seem to be the wrong thing. Wade made some decisions which landed him in all sorts of trouble with certain people.

Ultimately, I think this novella shows just enough about a troublesome family, school and a bit about running a farm and dealing with a loved one who you lost to death. But even as good as it was, it didn’t make amazing. The writing style was nice and there was a nice main character, but there wasn’t too much of a plot. Just a snippet of someone’s life.

Awesomeness time! I have a best friend who is an amazing singer - and also an amazing dancer! Her dance group has recently made a pretty creepy but brilliant video which I would love if you took the time to watch! As well as that, two of my friends were on the make up and costume team as well. I think they did everything really well. So, check it out!


Olivia’s Question: What was/is your high school experience like?

Olivia-Savannah x

30 comments:

  1. I like the premise of this one, it does sound intriguing enough - let's see, I might check it out soon. Lovely review :)x Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. It's a pretty straight forward but nice enough book!

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  2. I do read from time to time books about high-school drama but I don't tend to connect with them because High School in Spain is so different and nothing nothing like in the USA so really my high school experience was very normal. We don't have social groups, homecoming dances and stuff like that.

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    1. My high school here is pretty different as well. No clichés or anything typical like that, but I still enjoy reading about them because it is interesting to know what others might see as their reality!

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  3. Well, nice to get that snippet of a life different from our own

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    1. I love diving into other cultures and lives :D A good reason to enjoy reading in general!

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  4. Wow the video is awesome and so as the review :-)

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    1. I love the video and am glad you do too ^.^

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  5. High School can be rough. Sounds like an interesting novella. Good review, Olivia.

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  6. Hi Olivia - As always, I enjoyed your review! I didn't like my high school experience to much -- we'll have to leave it at that. :)

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    1. I'm sorry that it wasn't to fun for you :( I am sure you are leading a much better life now though, and that all that can be set in the past.

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  7. Oh boy. This sounds like fun...not for Wade, obviously. But for readers like me. I would love to see him get through a day without going on a murder spree. Lol.

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    1. :D Wade was a pretty cool guy. It's a shame that practically everything went wrong for him :P

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  8. There's either two ways for your life to go in HS: hell on earth or heaven. And it looks like Wade has it tough to make things as less hellish possible. And congrats to your friends on the video. They just had to include Ante Up with Busta Rhymes lyrics. I love that song. I love Busta. Good job.

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    1. Yeah, it does seem like you either love it or hate it. And I am glad you liked the video! I think we have a similar taste in music :c

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  9. That video is amazing. I don't know which I liked better--the music or the dancing!

    I do like the idea of a story that shows how difficult high school can really be. Too bad this one was disappointing.

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    1. So glad you were able to enjoy the video! This one wasn't too disappointing at all, it was merely okay and a decent read!

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  10. Great review Olivia, I managed to survive high school unscathed but would prefer to live in a zombie infested forest for four years rather then do it again..LOL

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    1. Oh wow xD Glad to know you made it, but it doesn't seem like it was the best time!

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  11. Another great review Olivia! High school in South Africa was rather ordinary for me nothing too special. Hope you are having a lovely weekend xx

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    1. Glad to know it was a fairly normal ordeal! I think going to South Africa myself would be cool :D

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    2. You must go to South Africa once Olivia, I think you will love it! If you ever get to go there let me know I have so many tips on where to go (especially in the Cape Town and Durban area).

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    3. Of course you would be the first to know! I would even be able to meet you there ^.^ I have heard it is lovely.

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  12. High School in my country is so different from US. Whenever someone actually says something that is quite insulting, we just laugh it off. Not letting the thought sink in. High School in US is pretty serious.

    I love the video! And the background music was captivating. They're good dancers and good video editors :)

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    1. I think our secondary school is pretty much the same. Jokes all around = happy people :D The video was lovely and I was super impressed with it! Glad you liked it too.

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  13. I haven't read many novellas, but this does sound interesting. I like that it does a good job capturing what high school is like and it seems unique because of the calving. I hadn't heard of it before- so thanks for sharing.

    Also- what a video! Such talented dancers and the makeup looked awesome. The video was creepy and eerie at times, but so well done. I really enjoyed it! Bravo to the dancers and everyone involved.
    ~Jess

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    1. It was very creepy but I was so pleased to know my friends could be part of something so amazing!

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  14. Great review. I have to admit to not reading novellas really, unless they are part of a series that I am obsessed with. This sounds okay, but it's probably one I'll skip.

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    1. I understand. I used to be one who didn't read too many novellas but it is something I have recently started to enjoy a lot more.

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