The Journey Back by Priscilla Cummings(Adolescent Fiction)
I decided to read this because I loved the first one so much (The Red Kayak). I was hoping it was going to be the continuing story of Brady. He was so captivating as a character. I hate it when authors try to capitalize on an earlier success rather than telling a story that needs to be told. This one just felt forced.
For some reason, the author chose the least likable and most static character in The Red Kayak to write about. This is the after story of Digger, or Michael, after he was convicted of manslaughter. I couldn't care less about what happened to Digger and now here's his whole story? I was bored before I even really got started.
Digger has been sent to a youth detention center and almost promptly decides to escape to somehow protect his mother and siblings from his abusive father. He doesn't really work out the 'hows' of this plan because he is not the sharpest tool in the shed. During his brilliant escape (sarcasm), he stumbles into a camp with a bunch of homeless families and decides to stay to protect a small child there. Digger feels guilty about his family but just stays anyway.
The whole book, and plot and storyline, just felt so purposeless and unfocused. I suppose the readers are supposed to be touched by Digger's growth process and all the ways he's learning, but it seemed very staged and faked. I never felt as if he were anything more than words on a page. I hope the author lets this series die. She has such genius, such poetry, in her writing.
Dear authors, it's okay not to make EVERY book a series.