Title- Bleakboy and Hunter Stand Out in the Rain.
Author- Steven Herrick.
Publish date- May 2014.
(A Brief) Synopsis:
You could look at these people and take them at face value-
Jesse. Good throughout.
Kate. Wildlife warrior.
but when people seem to be so easy to read, you have to imagine they're not, and then things get really interesting.
Image Credit: UQP.
What I thought:
Bleakboy and Hunter was for me immediately readable- I opened the cover and was quickly a good way in, not really enjoying the story, but following it. There is an amazing amount of subjects, issues, covered in the book, from bullying to divorce to wildlife conservation, and all were incorperated into the story in their own ways, but they tended to feel flat and, more often than not, clichéd when I read them.
Out of all the characters it would be hard for me to pick out one I liked, because all had an element to them that made them difficult to connect with- Jesse (Bleakboy) was probably as close to "favourite" as I got, because I quite enjoyed the way he saw things and felt about life, the way he tried endlessly to help. It is Jesse, though, who probably disappointed me more than any of the others; in the beginning he explains how he has a poster of God on his wall and, as his parents insist the family is atheist, he calls him Trevor. This was a little unusual, sure, but it's an important thing to Jesse, being able to talk to this picture, and it felt like part of him. Later things change and that it's done in such an abrupt way felt very false to me, like it went against practically every lesson I felt was taught in the book.
That and a few other plot and character related things (like the way it seemed flat, even though they were dimensional, and it felt too predictable) made me feel no real enjoyment as I read, and the only thing I'm really left with an interest in is the Helpful Websites section at the end.
The story just felt a little bland and the characters didn't come off the page and really make me care about them, unfortunately. Also, the ages of Kate, Jesse, Hunter and Beth all felt a little off, particularly Beth, who I read as being closer to 16 than a 14 year old.
Thank you to UPQ for this review copy!