Memories & Learning
Yes, addressing the elephant in the room, I did edit this book, and it was written by my amazing husband. However, anyone who knows me is aware of my values and the level to which I hold my standards. I probably scrutinized this book more than most, not because my name is on it (which makes me tough enough), but also, it was written for young readers.
What I loved about this book was the relationship the grandparents, particular the grandpa, have with the grand(ren). There are many kids who don’t know the joys of this kind of companionship or the wealth this connection brings. I think this story does a great job showing the respect, friendship, and communication possible between generations, especially when separated from electronics.
As a woman with two daughters and mostly granddaughters, I appreciated the ambiguity of the child in the story. I liked how it was from the child’s perspective, allowing the young reader to place themself into the character. In addition, I liked the author noting how the grandmother and daughters were all capable of performing the regular automotive maintenance being taught. I have never believed gender should be a factor in education, no matter the subject.
This is a unique plot (and will make for a valuable collection of books). There are a lot of stories about how things work or what’s on the road and how they go. However, this is totally new in the fact it gives instructions to life skills while doing it in an entertaining way. The content is relatable and the deeper message (about sharing moments together) is as meaningful as the practical lesson.
This is written for middle graders. What that means is it targets kids around 7-12 years of age, but it has a more universal appeal (for example: our grandson – age 5 – really enjoyed it). It would be a fun family read, opening discussions about things, but it definitely has value for kids looking for an enjoyable book report for school. Clearly, I recommend it!

I really enjoyed the beginning of the book as our would-be hero’s are separated and flung around the world. Thankfully, Arthur and Eliot ended up together in the desert. At one point, I was confused whether they were in the present or had done some type of time travel. As crazy as this series has gotten, it would’ve worked.
Then there was Kat and Millicent. This is where my love for this series evaporated. Poof. I’ll get into that later.
My two favorite characters are still Arthur and Stanley. I do want to know what’s inside that Pandora’s box that Stanley activated. Hmmm.
I think some events that happened really don’t make any sense and just kinda flimflammed together. Like when Eliot finally faced his family. The confrontation seemed forced and with no emotion. Just a small amount of fighting and then, ta-da, you’re the winner. Em, nope.
I feel like the writing has gotten looser as the series has progressed and everyone talks and acts the same. But my biggest reason to hate on this series is the agenda the authors are pushing. Out of the 5 main characters, I can’t count Stanly since he’s an orangutan. 4 of them are either, bi, lesbian, or gay. That only leaves Arthur as a straight guy and he’s not every really human anymore. So, these numbers don’t add up. Out of the USA population, only 3% of people are LGBTQ. Which means only one person out of the five would be gay. Nope, that’s an agenda I don’t believe in and won’t support.
If you’re not offended by over diversification being pushed at you, and you enjoy crazy, zany plots, you might enjoy the rest of the series. For me, I’m calling it quits, even though I do want to know more. I give this one 3 stars.

Where did I find it: it’s been on my Kindle for well over a year. On reading the description I can see now why it attracted me.
What I liked: the concept. When a cosmic event knocks out all the electricity civilisation soon crumbles. However, the story’s focus is on one small town and its inhabitants. Sela is the main protagonist, who rallies the immediate neighbours to make preparations now there is no outside support, like shops and hospitals. Everyone has to fend for themselves, and Sela’s community come together when the odds are against them. Her love interest is the elusive Ben, an ex military man, who lives on the mountain. I definitely enjoyed their simmering romance. It was tastefully done, with no crude words to pull me out of the action.
What I didn’t like: that the story didn’t grip me as much as it should have done. Neither can I put my finger on exactly why. I’ve read better stories from this author.
Overall: it is a good romantic tale using a situation that draws people together. Ben is moody and muscular with a back story that’s mysterious. There are also some really good secondary characters that brought the story alive. All in all, I recommend this for romance lovers.
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