Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Young Hearts

Some people might have trouble with Y but I don't.  I didn't have much trouble with Z either; didn't hardly have to fudge that one.

Anyway, Young Hearts is the third one in the Children of Eternity series.  Like the third Scarlet Knight book and the third Girl Power book I decided to raise the stakes by getting Samantha Young and her friends off the island and onto the mainland, a small town in Maine in what was then present day, ie 2006.  Before I explain what the book's about, here's the one-star review this one lady wrote (and note I didn't go and stalk her afterwards or [until now] whine about it in public):

I really couldn't bear this. Again, I loved book 1. I had high hopes for this series. I don't know what this book had to do with anything.

They go to the mainland and coincidentally meet Pryde's relatives. I was thinking, could there be more to this? Are the links going to be revealed somehow? (Answer: no.)

Mr Pryde is uncannily understanding and helpful, basically taking them all into his home after knowing them for all of 2 minutes, letting them wear his dead wife's clothing, etc. His son then randomly stumbles upon a potion in a cave, which brings out his Mr Hyde side. He supposedly falls in love with Samantha, yet decides she needs this potion too, to be prettier, and they go a bit mental and do some pretty hefty crimes, and yet get let off the hook for all of it and everyone understands? And in the end, they're still in love, despite what an utter ass he is to her. Do I understand it? No. Does this have anything to do with the island of Eternity? No.

And what on earth was going on with that random dream sequence thing with Prudence and what's-his-name where she was literally a fat pig and he rode on her back and they somehow fell in love that way!?

Meanwhile, there's another story going on at Eternity, which frankly I didn't care about. This book was nonsensical from top to bottom. But more than that, this book was WHINY! Every other line (literally, no exaggeration) was someone calling someone else 'fatty' or 'baby' and the other person whining, 'Shut up! Don't call me that!' I actually found it offensive, after a while, the number of fat comments were in this book. I don't know, does the author feel fat and have some kind of complex about it? Because it was just constantly 'fatty' 'fat' 'pig' 'snort snort' or something along those lines. It was actually disgusting. I wanted to slap every character in this book after the first ten pages.

I also need to note: how many flipping times are they going to become babies again? Who cares?

So the first sentence of the second paragraph is right.  Samantha and her friends take a boat they made to the mainland and get picked up by the evil Mr. Pryde's not evil great-something-or-other grandson.  As for the third paragraph, he does help them because duh they're kids and they're dressed in wet, dirty, torn Amish clothes to boot.  Basically she's complaining that he's nice enough to help them--she must be in the Tea Party.

The rest of that third paragraph is misstating the facts.  Pryde's son Joseph does find some weird potions in a cave.  He's examining them when he meets Samantha for the first time.  He's smitten with her but he feels really insecure because he's nerdy looking, not a jock or anything.  So he tinkers with the potions to make a sort of super-steroid to make himself a hunk.  The side effect is that he becomes a jerk.  At the same time, Samantha likes Joseph but she too feels insecure about herself because she's only like 15 and dark-skinned unlike everyone else.  So he makes her a potion that over time turns her into Barbie, the side effect being that it makes her into a total bitch.

I don't know about "hefty crimes."  They steal some beer and later try to rob a bank for seed money.  I suppose they do try to kill Samantha's friends Prudence and Wendell, at least until they come to their senses.  As for the end, they do still love each other because they realize they only took those potions because they liked each other.  The whole thing was a big misunderstanding.

Does it have to do with the island of Eternity?  Not so much.  The potions were used by the Reverend Crane to help keep the kids in line on the island.  There is a subplot where Samantha snoops around town and finds some damning information that she might have been a thief and possibly a murderer before she lost her memory.  Which is another reason she feels insecure and takes the potion.

The "random dream sequences" were not random.  Basically Joseph mixes a potion that causes Prudence and Wendell to trip balls.  Prudence has always been mocked about her weight so in the dream she goes from a skinny cheerleader to literally a fat pig.  Wendell is often called "Wendy" on the island because he's short and wimpy, so in his dream he literally becomes a girl.  Their dreams end up merging so they can fight the Freddy Krueger-ish Samantha trying to kill them.  They don't fall in love because of this; they were already doing that but surviving this together helps to put them over the top.

She really should have cared about the story on Eternity because it sets up the fourth book.  An archenemy of Samantha's (who is connected to the Pryde family) sneaks onto the island and befriends a little girl named Molly.  With some help from the Fountain of Youth, the archenemy becomes one of the children and starts planning for how to take revenge on Samantha.

So you see how when it comes to book reviews exaggeration can be very damaging?  It also demonstrates the need for patience, because the mystery of Samantha and Eternity wasn't all going to unwind in one book--or three.  It's probably the closest I ever came to doing something like Lost, which was on for how many years?  And sure people got impatient with that too--and then the solution was pretty easy to figure out and pissed people off.  Which may be how people would feel about this too.

Anyway, for me the point of this wasn't as much to advance the mystery as to advance the characters.  In this book Samantha and her friends have become teenagers at last and with that there are of course all sorts of new feelings and changes in relationships.  So for me it's really about Samantha and her friends growing up, a process completed in the next book.

This and the rest of my books are available at the new Planet 99 Publishing site


  1. I guess there's a segment of the reading population that doesn't want to think too hard or let events unfold.

  2. Fountain of Youth? One of my favorite story elements. :)



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