Title: Growing Up
Author: Tricia Sol
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Pages/Word Count: 80 Pages
At a Glance: Unfortunately, this one just didn’t work, guys.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Growing up wasn’t really something twenty-one-year-old Kelly Alston thought about much. Being adult and independent was never his dream. With the pressures of coming out to his conservative parents and a mean ex, he’d rather not grow up at all.
He hadn’t factored in his sexy, former physics teacher from high school, though; a man who’d starred in his dreams all throughout high school and years after he left his hometown for college. Now that Kelly is back home, suddenly being an adult looks like it might just have some perks.
Review: Growing Up first sucked me in with an absolutely adorable cover; and then, though the blurb wasn’t great, it also promised a May-December romance, which I love. Even though it appeared to be the freshman effort of author Tricia Sol—so, it was a bit of the jumping into the unknown—I went for it anyway. And, I can’t say it was entirely unenjoyable. It had potential, especially early on. There was something really likeable about Kelly. And, I liked his relationship with his best friend, Grace. In the beginning the story had the promise of being cute; Kelly was really sweet in his initial nervous flirtation with Mr. Bastion upon seeing him again. But, unfortunately, there just was not enough substance to get this thing off the ground.
The main crux of the problem with this book was that there was simply way too much telling, and not enough showing. Told in Kelly’s point of view, we’re taken, in his head, through the different stages of the story almost entirely by virtue of him recounting that there were situations and conversations that got him to a particular point, but most of the time we don’t actually get the conversations, or get to see the scenes play out. Also, the characters just weren’t developed enough for the reader to become fully invested in their story—particularly Luke, who we truly never got to know well enough to understand. And finally, the story itself needed to be more fleshed out. It is difficult for even the most experienced writer to tell a great story, and make it satisfying and feel complete in less than a hundred pages. In this case I think Sol tried to do too much, introduced too much into the storyline, and then wasn’t able to see it all through.
Unfortunately, this one just didn’t work, guys. Great cover art. Good idea. But, I think in order to truly tell the story she wanted to tell, the author needed to make it a lot meatier by adding about fifty pages or so.
You can buy Growing Up here: