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May 8, 2016

Peer Pressure: A Reality Featured in Fiction

review by Susan Roberts

Peer pressure is difficult to deal with at any age and can be seen in children as well as adults.  Here are examples of peer pressure in two recent books.  When He Fell deals with the problem on a kindergarten level with tragic consequences and The Goodbye Year deals with the problem with both parents and seniors in high school.

When he Fell
When He Fell by Kate Hewitt packed a real emotional punch. Its a novel about two 9 year old boys - who were friends at school. Ben had always been kind of hyperactive and Josh had been extremely shy and neither had many friends until they became friends with each other. After a fight on the playground, one of them ends up in the hospital with brain damage and the other one always been won't talk about it at all. Both families are caught up in the ensuing turmoil surrounding fallout of the boys’ disagreement. As they struggle to find out what really happened, with little help from the school administration, secrets are revealed in each family.

The characters are very real and full of good and bad traits - at times during the book, I disliked all of the adult characters - especially the two mothers - but then found out later that they had reasons for the way they acted and then my opinion of them changed. There were times that the book was very difficult to read. Any time a child is injured to this extent, its very painful to read because its so emotional to any parent.

Overall, I highly recommend this book -- its a fantastic book to read and hard to put down once you start it. This is the first book that I've read by Kate Hewitt but I plan to read more of her books.
(Thanks to the author for a copy of this book for a fair and honest review)

Buy When He Dell at Amazon

The Goodbye Year
The last year of high school is very stressful for not only the seniors but also for their families. In this novel, Kaira Rouda takes us into the conflicts of several families with a high school senior hoping to go to college - there is perfect Ashley with her plastic surgeon father and her mother who he has helped make into a walking advertisement for his plastic surgery practice.... But he is hiding a secret and their marriage isn't all that it seems to be. There is Dane who appears to be a real loser who won't get into college and his mother has turned to alcohol to console herself. These are only two of the families who are part of this fast paced, fun to read novel. It's a novel about relationships in families and about growing up and saying goodbye. A fantastic book.

Buy The Goodbye Year at Amazon

Susan Roberts, reviewer. Susan grew up in the Detroit area but after deciding that city life wasn't for her she moved to North Carolina after college. She and her husband have several acres of land and they enjoy gardening and canning vegetables in the summer. They travel extensively. Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook or Twitter.

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