Friday, May 6, 2011

The Fifth Rule - Gripping Realism

Gripping realism.

I devoured Don Aker’s The Fifth Rule and must confess, I didn’t realize it’s the sequel to The First Stone, which I sooo plan to get and read. Honestly, though The Fifth Rule was totally complete on its own. I sat down at 8pm and finished it at 11:30pm because I couldn’t stop reading!

The story is about a former young offender, Reef Kennedy, who goes from Calgary, where’s he’s working as a construction worker trying to start over back to Halifax to attend the funeral of his mentor, Frank Colville. Once home Reef gets sucked back into the Halifax drama. It’s been a year since he left but during that time he’s thought of one person, daily – Leeza, the girl he met while doing volunteer hours at a rehabilitation centre who also turned out to be the victim of that first stone he threw that caused a motor vehicle accident.

I loved the layers woven into this tight-knit realistic, in-your-face story. Leeza, who is trying to find herself but unable because of her mother’s over-protectiveness, is struggling with fitting in at Dalhousie University for her first year. Then when her step-dad steps back into the picture things get even more complicated.

Circumstances unfold to pull Leeza and Reef back together, and old memories resurface for both of them. When an eager political crusader plans to shut down Reef’s former group home things quickly escalate.

It’s not often I pick out my favourite lines in a book, but I’ve got a few that really jumped out at me.

This is from Leeza – “But that period of her life is over and her memory of it no longer brings the pain it once did. Sure, a melancholy every now and then – when she allows it – a sense of loss that still tugs at her, but the pain is behind her, like that car cruising south on Connaught.” – OMG these sentences sucked me into Leeza and I totally got how Leeza felt.

From Reef – “The boy in his head wears too-short jeans and a second-hand T-shirt washed so many times it’s nearly transparent. The words being muttered, though, are much the same: dummy, numbskull, and a string of others the man snarls every time he’s reminded that his illegitimate grandson breathes the same air he does.” – That sums up an entire childhood for me.

I don’t want to give the entire plot away but I urge anyone wanting to read a YA-Adult crossover novel to read this book.

To find out more of Don Aker’s works check out at:

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