Hello everyone! I read a few books this week, so I'm going to post reviews for all of them today.
This is the first, here goes!
Title: Take Me There
Author: Carolee Dean
Author website: http://www.caroleedean.com/
Rating (1-5): 4
Cover rating: 4
Description: Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him -but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.
But trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He's on the run and in search of answers- answers to questions he wishes he'd never asked.
First off, I thought this book was going to be a sweet love story, and probably something similar to Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, but it was not. Yes, there was a love story, but that was not the main plot in the book. The book starts in California and after a turn of events Dylan ends up in Texas. Huntsville, Texas to be exact, for those of you who don't know what is held in Huntsville, Texas, I'll tell you. Huntsville is a small town and home of Sam House State University. It is also the home of six prisons, one of which is used for the death penalty. Even though death row is not located in Huntsville, the inmates are sent to Huntsville for their final day. Now, you're probably 'wondering why is this girl telling us about prison in Texas?' Well, Dylan comes to Texas for just that. Prison. He comes to face his father who is in prison. He leaves behind the girl he loves in California and heads to Texas. The main reason I loved this book so much is because it tells the story of Dylan, a boy who can't read or write. And, illiteracy is something that breaks my heart, because as a reader and writer, I can't imagine any fate worse than taking words away from me. The moral I got from this story is basically without reading and writing, you can go absolutely nowhere. I'm not sure if this statistic is true or not, but it cites in the book that 75-80 percent of all inmates can not read at grade level. Can you even imagine? I can't, I simply can't imagine where I would be without being able to read. I can't fathom not being able to go to a different world for awhile. It's is one of the greatest things being sucked into a new story. My heart goes to those who are unable to experience the pure joy of cracking open a new book. And, I can only guess that those who can't feel alone. Especially the ones in school who have only gotten by with cheating in some form. I really think this is why this book touched me so much. It showed me the importance of what I love.
Something I really enjoyed was how Texas was portrayed. The author painted it with such authenticity. It made me smile and laugh. A lot of times the south is portrayed incorrectly. The accents are always referred to as 'slow southern drawls', but I have lived in Texas all my life and I haven't ever heard a 'slow southern drawl.' Most southerners I know actually speak at a rapid pace.
This story is haunting and chilling. There are so many twists and turns. And, it is real. As real as you can get. And, there is love. Yes, there is love in many forms. I suggest you pick this up and give it a try. Even, if it sounds like something you aren't interested in. As a reader, as someone who adores books, pick this one up and remember. Remember what a gift it is to be able to read the words scribbled across any page. Remember the stories you know and love. I may not read this novel again and again, but Dylan's story will definitely stay with me.