This is the story of Aris Ball, a young boy whose life is tossed about by circumstance and fate and who constantly seeks to sort some meaning out of its tangle. He searches inside himself and he searches outside himself. He wants to be one of them, but he's not sure who they are. He wants to belong, to fit in. He wants to find out why other kids make fun of him and call him names.
His source of truth is his uncle Joshua, whom he believes at first is his father. Joshua would sort things out for him, telling him what was the truth and what was made up stuff.
Aris also believes he may have two mothers, but he isn't sure of that. He discovers that he can learn a lot by listening at doors, especially when there's an argument going on. But, as his uncle Joshua had predicted, he eavesdropped once too often. He finds out that Max got his head cracked wide open, but he doesn't know who Max is or why he got his head cracked wide open. He learned some things about himself, too that he didn't know before. Ultimately success comes by fate from a chance meeting in an alley. And it comes from one avenue he didn't explore, his own ignorance.
About the Author
from the back cover
NovaMelia was born in England and came to the USA when she was 17 years old. She attended the University of Pittsburg where she studied Creative Writing and Psychology. She spent many years living in southern Florida. She now lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband, George.
Aris is born into one messed up family. His mother never really wanted him, he wasn't sure who his father was, even thinking that his uncle (his mother's brother) may be his father, his "holy-roller" grandma is overbearing and controlling, and his grandfather is a little off his rocker. The kids at school call him names and make up stories about him and his family.
But Aris' biggest problem is himself.
This story was a bit of an enigma for me. I'm not sure how to describe it, and I'm having a hard time deciphering my feelings regarding it.
In the beginning, the story spoke to me. I could really hear the characters in my head, speaking their muddled words. This book made me think of the movie Beloved, and I could imagine it becoming a movie like Beloved-- not quite for everyone, but appealing in its own right.
It is one of those books that requires you to pay attention, as it can ramble at times like a story with ADD. The story mostly comes from Aris' own mind, and his thoughts can be difficult to harness in.
Complicating matters is the fact that this book wasn't edited, having been self-published, and therefore it is riddled with typos and errors. It can be really difficult following who is saying what, or what is even dialogue and what is simply thought or narration, given the incorrect usage of quotation marks.
I was left a little frustrated with this story. I was always left grasping for something, and always coming up short. And then the last 50 pages lost me. It rambled around so much that I had a hard time following what was happening, and basically as a result I just got bored.
So this book started out great, but petered out in the end. Overall I'm glad that I read it, but I hoped for so much more for this story and Aris.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10
(My thanks to Bostick Communications and the author for the book in exchange for my honest review.)