Title: Blue Hill
Author: Todd R. Tystad
Type of Book: YA Fiction
The summer before his senior year in high school, Asa Roth wrecked his motorcycle on a country road. He walked away, but soon discovered that his life had changed in ways that would be impossible to comprehend. Now, with the help of his brothers, his best friend, and a girl he can’t stop thinking about, Asa is trying to understand the person he has become and what it means to have the ability to alter lives.
A good, clean, wholesome read. Need I say more? Lol. But seriously, I read Blue Hill in one sitting because it was really good even if it didn’t have the usual sort of teen angst fanfare that usually sucks me in.
The setting for the story is in and around Blue Hill, SD. (Nope, not a real place. I checked.) But think small town and rolling farmland. It puts you in a calming state of mind for what’s to come.
Our protagonist is 17-year old Asa Roth. He lives on a farm outside of Blue Hill with his father and two brothers (he’s the middle brother). Life on the farm seems pretty idyllic: chores, harvesting, dirt bike riding, and when time (or weather) permits, church.
One afternoon, he and his younger brother, Josh are taking their dirt bikes out and in a freak twist of fate end up wrecking their bikes in what should be a tragic accident. But a shaken Asa has a vision, recovers quickly, and saves his brother’s life.
Neither the reader or Asa understands what exactly happened in the accident. Through a series of follow-up encounters involving both Asa’s older brother, David, and his potential sweetheart, Shannon, Asa realizes that he now possesses a special gift. He has the ability to heal.
The rest of the book involves Asa’s secret being found out by his family and some close friends, and Asa grappling with what it all means.
Given that this is YA fiction, I’d have no problem giving Blue Hill to my kids to read. The author handles all of the more violent parts with sensitivity and at a high enough level that your heart may be in your throat, but it’s because his words have given your imagination plenty to play with.
Blue Hill appears to be the first in a series of novels based on Asa, so that explains to me this sense I had when I read the last page of “this is too short”. There are MANY lingering questions that I hope are addressed in the next book.
Really my only critique is that these characters have lived on a farm all their lives, and suddenly it’s like every activity becomes a death trap. I understand that it’s needed for the story arc, but it pushed the limits of my suspension of disbelief a bit.
I look forward to hearing more from Asa!
Cege’s Rating: 4.5/5
Buy Blue Hill:
Connect with Todd:
Todd’s blog: http://toddrtystad.blogspot.com/
Todd on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ToddRTystad
Todd on Twitter: twitter.com/ToddRTystad
And now for the really fun stuff! Todd has graciously agreed to give away two eBook copies of Blue Hill to a few very deserving readers of mine.
All’s you have to do is share this review in one of these ways: like, comment, or share the Facebook post, comment on this post, or tweet this post (and make sure you include my handle @cegesmith so I see it). On Friday, Jan. 6th I will use random.org to draw the winners. Good luck!
*Reviewer Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of Blue Hill in exchange for my fair and honest review.*