Title: If I Should Stumble
Author: Claire Davis and Al Stewart
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Release Date: December 1st 2016
Genre(s): Young Adult
Page Count: 148 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Love is sure and timeless and forever. It whispers over the morning coffee and the last thought before sleep. Love is beyond hope, and cruel as life.
Kaz has been in the UK for almost a year, but the days pass by in an endless round of alcohol and nothingness. He has a story but no words good or bad enough to tell it, until one day, he is assigned a new peer mentor who asks him to help train a sponsored running team. Something that was stretched as old parchment breaks inside, and memories begin to re-surface.
Zack is overjoyed when his friend Adam asks him to be part of the sponsored run team trying to make money for the local homeless shelter. All day he makes cakes to lighten people’s load, but something is missing from his life. Then he meets the boy with eyes like the desert, and with every step he runs, Zack’s light burns away the darkness in Kaz’s heart.
As the race heats gets nearer, Tork, Adam, Zack and Jo realise that under Kaz’s careful programme, they have a chance to qualify and set right some of the wrongs of this world.
This book features the characters Tork and Adam from The Invasion of Tork and The Invasion of Adam.
This book made my inner Grinch so happy.
I have been in one of the worst book funks of my life. Books are a lifeline for me, and I’ve been so unhappy that I wasn’t loving what I was reading. If I Should Stumble reminded me of why I love reading so much.
It’s the story of a young man forced to leave the world he knows, forcing him to be alone in a new country, and then finding himself with some help from new friends. This book was everything. It was heartbreaking, sweet, and heart lifting. I think Claire Davis and Al Stewart are a writing duo that is underrated. Why they haven’t blown up more is beyond me. Anyhoo…
-The plot. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story about a refugee who was forced to flee- different plot in romance is hard to find, so hats off to these guys.
-The characters. All of them. What an awesome group. Kaz was a lost soul that broke my heart, and Zack was this charming man with so much love in his heart to give. And their friends were as equally great.
-The relationship development between Kaz and Zack was such adorable and full hope. It almost felt like a ray of light. Seeing the change in Kaz- it just made me happy.
-The story had a nice pace.
-And the end- made me feel complete.
My only niggle is that there were some things left unanswered about Kaz’s background and family. I kept waiting for some answers, but they never came.
As far as this being book 3 in the series- can it be read as a stand alone? Technically, yes. *whispers* I haven’t read the first two Tork and Adam books. *hangs head in shame* I planned on reading all three back to back, but life happened. Did I feel lost? No. But there’s no doubt in me that it would be better if you did. Tork and Adam play prominent roles in this story, so I did wish I’d read them first.
Final verdict… do I recommend this book? A resounding yes. I think Claire Davis and Al Stewart write poetry together. They wrote a story that is relevant today. They wrote a story about the average person who is often forgotten. They wrote about loneliness. About heartbreak. But most importantly about love and healing.