The Scruffy Rube’s #CBR4 Review #20 November Blues
I have already read and reviewed Draper’s Tears of a Tiger, this time I moved on to the author’s slightly thicker series The Jericho Trilogy hoping for something that might be as challenging as Tears of a Tiger was engaging.
November Blues jumps in on the middle of the story as November Nelson learns that she is pregnant. Unfortunately, the father is out of the picture and November has to struggle first with the secret of her pregnancy and then with the facts of delivering a baby to term. Her friends and family weave a web of story lines around her, so that while her drama is front and center in the book, there’s a lot of other story lines (backstabbing, drug dealing and a football season) to digest at once and while some might feel like these story lines come from another world, there’s something for practically everyone to connect to.
Draper’s great at capturing the cadences of a teenage conversation: nobody is staggeringly erudite, and dumbfounded silences are a natural fit amid awkward adolescence. Most notably, unlike Tears of a Tiger where characters kept their feelings masked from readers through the shifting narrative perspectives and diverse styles of writing, November Blues digs in to the heart and mind of people attempting to survive a life shaking event.
While the complexity of the writing won’t provide much challenge to teenage readers (or adults) and the story telling style is far more simplistic than the interweaving perspectives of Tears, November Blues is still a book that I would bet on as a sure fire success among uncertain readers.