Thursday, December 08, 2011

next sure thing

Title: The Next Sure Thing

Author: Richard Wagamese

Date Finished: October 10, 2011

Personal Book Count: 37 out of 75

Rating: 4 out of 5

Genre/ Subject: fiction

First Line: So I’m walking out of Shelly's Crab Shack around 2:00 AM with a handful of bills from my tip jar, and the moon is like a freaking eyeball staring right down at me.

Why did I pick this book?: I received this book as an ARC from Orca Book Publishers through

Summary and Review: taken from the back of the book-

Cree Thunderboy has two things he does well: he plays a mean blues guitar, and he has a knack for picking winning horses at the track. Picking winners is just a means to an end; Cree's goal is to be the next great bluesman. When he meets Win Hardy, it looks like he might be able to parlay his special skill with the horses into a shot at the fame and fortune he seeks. So long as he can pick the next sure thing.”

First thing I want to say, is I am in love with these little orca books. This is the second of three that I have read, and have immensely enjoyed them all. They are quick, interesting, intelligent reads, and I would recommend them for reluctant readers of any age, or anyone who wants a fast, entertaining read.

The main character, Cree, was interesting, and smart, but it was his best friend Ashton who really had me hooked. He was the voice of reason, and was there with his friend, through it all, until the end. I think I would have split long before (but then, that is what makes it a good book, as opposed to real life. There is a tension from beginning to end, that kept me coming back throughout my day for 'just a few more pages'. It was something the author did really well. I heard recently that 'bad decisions make good stories', and to me, this felt like a great example of that. It felt like he was making a deal with the devil to me from the beginning, and it got worse as he went, and it made your heart ache for him. I thought the ending was great, and without spoiling anything for anybody, it made the whole book worth reading (I hate a weak ending in books, it feels like a let down after all that 'work'). Great payoff! This is a Canadian publisher, and a Canadian author, but I didn't feel like it had a Canadian feel. (in my opinion, so many Canadians try and write 'literature' and it comes off feeling a little forced, and I struggle with that.) instead, this one felt very natural. It wasn't trying to live up to a standard, or fit in to a box of what someone thought it should be. *please don't read this as I am anti-literature, because I am not, there is a lot of GREAT literature out there, I am just against 'forced literature'.*

This was a sweet story, that came across as smart and entertaining. The down side is at $10 it cost the same as a full length book for 130 pages. But if you have a reluctant reader in your life, it could be worth it. I will definitely search out more of these, but possibly at my library or second hand book store.

Agree? Disagree? Recommendations? Any insights, suggestions, or comments on the book or format, or blog at all are most welcome. If you have read this and/ or review it yourself, please let me know. Can you think of any books like this? Give me a recommendation! =D

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