Title: Here’s to You, Zeb Pike
Author: Johanna Parkhurst
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Links:Buy Link Amazon; Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age
Length: Novel (180 pages)
Rating: 2.25 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by LenaLena
Review Summary: Meh. Again.
Fact: When Zebulon Pike attempted to climb what is now known as Pikes Peak, he got stuck in waist-deep snow and had to turn back.
That’s the last thing Dusty Porter learns in his Colorado history class before appendicitis ruins his life. It isn’t long before social services figures out that Dusty’s parents are more myth than reality, and he and his siblings are shipped off to live in Vermont with an uncle and aunt they’ve never met.
Dusty’s new life is a struggle. His brother and sister don’t seem to need him anymore, and he can’t stand his aunt and uncle. At school, one hockey player develops a personal vendetta against him, while Emmitt, another hockey player, is making it hard for Dusty to keep pretending he’s straight. Problem is, he’s pretty sure Emmitt’s not gay. Then, just when Dusty thinks things can’t get any worse, his mother reappears, looking for a second chance to be a part of his life.
Somehow Zebulon Pike still got the mountain named after him, so Dusty’s determined to persevere—but at what point in life do you keep climbing, and when do you give up and turn back?
There are many YA books that I’ve enjoyed immensely. Gives Light by Rose Christo and Silent by Sara Alva come to mind. But I must say, this book felt much younger than most of the YA I’ve read, mostly because of the simplicity of the the story line. Dusty, the protag is 14, but if this book had had more swords and/or talking animals I wouldn’t have had a problem reading it to my 9 year old, it felt that young. As it is he would find it very boring, and I am pretty sure my 13 year old would too. If I’d had more time for this review, I might have asked him to read it and tell me what he thought.
The story is very predictable for those of us who have read more than 5 YA novels, and 90% of it is right there in the blurb. The characters are all fairly shallow and the story just doesn’t have any meat on its bones. Neither the home life drama nor the barely there love story hit me in the feels at any point. If you’re reading this for the romance, don’t. Teh Gay doesn’t even get mentioned at all until one third of the book in and all you get eventually is one short kiss. The romance was kind of tacked on, and that is really not a problem, since the story had bigger fish to fry, but if that is what you are looking for, be forewarned.
I don’t know. I feel like the Grinch, because obviously the author meant to write something true to life and something people can relate to, but it just didn’t do anything for me.