I'm not going to review only "Rebecca Danced", because there are three (plus) books in this series, but they're really one book: the second and third don't stand alone, they're continuations. So this is a review of "Rebecca Danced", "Anita's Rescue", and "State of Chaos".
The author has dubbed these the Chaos books, Chaos being the name of the band that a bunch of teens have started, including Tony and Tina, brother and sister. Tony and Tina are our protagonists for these stories. I'm not going to recap the plot here; it's interesting, and it will keep your attention--it kept mine enough to have me up until 3:30am reading it (well past my normal bedtime).
The story is quite engaging, the characters mostly believable (sometimes a little too perfect, and a little too mature for their stated ages), and the plot holds together well. There's a reason that "Rebecca Danced" has an overall score of 9.00 as of this writing. It's mostly a romance, with quite a bit about music and boating in there. No secret agents, no military action, no giant phalluses or pneumatic bimbos, so if you're looking for those, look elsewhere. There's a little sex, but not a lot; this is not a stroke story. It's a very comfortable, very interesting coming-of-age story.
Technically it's very good, but not great. There are some typos and misspellings and punctuation errors. These books are also available on Amazon; I haven't read those versions, but I do hope the author got them professionally edited before putting them there.
The good news is that there are three books, plus the beginnings of a fourth. The bad news is that the author, Ezzy B (aka Ezzy Black) seems to have disappeared in late March 2014. Despite his blog here on SOL saying he had 6 chapters plus another 30,000 words of the fourth book done, only two chapters were ever posted. He's had no blog entries here since then; none on his other blogs; and he hasn't posted anything on his Yahoo! group--there are readers posting there saying "what happened?" but no answers appear. I fear we may never get to find out any more about Chaos.
As I said, the good news is that there are three complete books. Read them, you'll be glad you did.
So I've thought about what it takes for me to give a story a 10. Another review I read gave a basic guidelines as follows:
A 6 is simply average, like getting a C in school.
A 7 is the equivalent of a B grade. Good, and above average.
An 8 would be the equivalent of an A, well above average. In technical score, this could indicate more than just one or two errors spotted per chapter.
A 9 would be like an A+, while a 10 is a story that I would read again. A 10 in technical score, to me, indicates a work that is virtually error-free.
Someone who read my profile and one of my reviews pointed this little gem of a story out to me. When you read it, prepare to cry. Is there sex? Sure, there is a little sex, but it is not the primary focus of the story. The author does a phenomenal job of building a back story, developing the characters, and simply drawing you in. When you read about a young girl dying of leukemia, and her brother's withdrawal following that, your heart breaks for the family. When you think you have the reason he is so attracted to the new girl figured out, you find you may have been wrong. All in all, a great story that I will read again in the future.
There is a theme of discovery in Rebecca Danced, not only for one of the characters in particular, but also for the reader of this excellent story in general. EzzyB has a great sense of delivery, exposing the reader to different facets of the characters as they live through a few months in 1984. Garden State girl Rebecca is dropped into Savannah, Georgia, dealing with the aftermath of knee surgery that has left her wheelchair-bound. The story incorporates some local touches that add flavor and make for good laughs. There is a general sense of optimism and joy of life that keeps the story riding high despite Rebecca’s hardships. It’s easy to root for Tony, the larger-than-life male protagonist, and his free-spirited sister Tina, as they help Rebecca through rehabilitation while juggling the demands of high school, their impressive rock band, and a few side projects that make the reader wish they could befriend these characters in real life. EzzyB curates a nice playlist of songs throughout the music scenes, and indeed you might find yourself reaching for iTunes or YouTube to cue up some Van Halen or Elton John as you read.
The writing is dynamic but unforced. Dialog flows naturally and there is just enough detail provided to set a scene for the characters to inhabit and then reveal themselves. The plot is straightforward, avoiding unexpected twists in favor of an exploratory style that focuses on the emotional growth of the relationships. The theme of discovery keeps the tale moving. The story succeeds in delivering an insightful portrayal of true love in various forms without being overwrought, making the wonderful progression to the ending quite satisfying.
Rebecca Danced is the first book of the Chaos series, of which two more books are complete and a fourth has recently begun. Although the story stands on its own, one also gets the sense that some seeds have been planted for future events. Regardless of whether the reader chooses to continue with Anita’s Rescue, this story is an uplifting read for fans of character-driven coming-of-age stories. Highly recommended.
Reviewed: 2012-05-06 - (Review Updated: 2012-05-07)
Writing this review gives me a sense of deja vu. I reviewed State Of Chaos before I reviewed Rebecca Danced, because Rebecca Danced disappeared for while. I was so upset, I bought a Kindle copy from Amazon.
So what about the story? Rebecca Danced is a 'Coming Of Age' story, and a consummate love story. As an Englishman, I find that 'American Teen High School' stories can get pretty old pretty quickly, this story breaks the mould though. Built around teenage love rather than teenage lust, it's easy to get drawn into the story, and as always with this story, it made me cry. Don't you just hate authors that make you cry?
In its latest incarnation Rebecca Danced is technically excellent, and a joy to read. The plot is far enough from the main stream to remain intriguing, and I hung on every word.
Nothing could be further from a stroke story than this. There is a little sex in there, but it's erotic, not pornographic.
Ezzy, this group of stories are a chunk of gold in the dross, making even good stories pale by comparison. More power to you!
As for you dear reader, if you want a good emotionally engaging story, this is it. Read, enjoy, add it to your library, then read the companion tales.