Molly's Reviews

Melissa Lion
Wendy Lamb Books/Random House

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Entertaining Read ... Recommended ... 4.5 stars

The narrative opens in a small Alaska with someone sneaking into the window. The house is empty. Marty lays her sleeping bag on the floor and lays down to sleep. The new school year will begin and Marty, Martha, will be facing it without her boy friend Steven. Marty, her sisters Gwen and Dottie live with their working Mom and sometime when home from the Coast Guard dad. Marty has had the summer to come to grips with Stevenís death. School begins, a new owner for the movie theater where Marty works comes to town, life goes on. Then, Fish and Game begin to make noises about re opening the investigation into Stevenís death. He was well versed in living in the wild and they are wondering how he and several more recent campers have come to be the victim of an accidental shooting. Winter melts into spring. Marty sends applications to colleges and faces the questions put to her by Fish and Game. Life goes on.

Writer Lion has wrought an appealing mystery certain to please the young adult market. Overflowing with exhilarating settings, a genuine conundrum and believably human characters Upstream is an engaging read. Writer Lionís adroitness for the human situation and her cloudless portrayal haul the reader right into the chronicle. Lion possesses a perception for the human inner self which she puts to skillful use to furnish a narrative filled with tingle, sentiment and coming of age. The reader is drawn into the tale from the opening lines as we accompany Marty into the now deserted home of her dead boy friend and that interest is held tight right down to the last page where we find Marty now grown up, finished with college and following her life dream.

"Upstream" is writer Lionís second work and is a commendable effort. That writer Lion has done her homework into people, activities, and tenor of youth is manifest as the anecdote unfolds. Lion uses occasional flash back type scene setting to explain what has led to Stevenís demise. Brimming with a profusely fabricated chronicle, snappy, fulfilling conversations, in addition to a judiciously interwoven theme regarding a young woman coming to grips with life and herself Upstream is an agreeably composed work. Characters presented by writer Lion are creditable, discussion is acceptable as it serves to move the narrative along from beginning to end.

An indisputable winner for the target audience of young adult to adult aficionados of Ďslice of lifeí accounts. The well written account has ample action to satisfy readers. "Upstream" is an superb choice for the middle to high school level home school or public school libraries, home library shelf as well as gift book selection for readers ages 13 and up who possess good reading skills and have an enjoyment for a gripping tale well told. Oblique references to teenaged sexual activity will served to preclude some readers from enjoying the book.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.




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© 2005 by Molly Martin