The Journey Back by Priscilla Cummings
* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)
* ARC received from the publisher
3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes
This is a great redemptive story though a bit predictable in parts. The book is the second book in a series but since I didn’t read the first one I feel that this one could be read as a standalone book. Everything is explained so you really get the gist of what happened in the first book, Red Kayak.
Digger got in enough trouble in the last book that he got sent to a juvenile detention center. This wasn’t a little problem he had either, he’s pretty much responsible for the death of a little boy because he was playing a prank on the father of the kid. (I just know what I read here but I’m not a hundred percent sure that it sounded like Digger should have been blamed for the crime, I think a little bit of blame had to have fallen to whoever was in the boat with the kid and wasn’t smart enough to check the boat/get them both out) but who knows, maybe it makes more sense if you read Red Kayak first.
I like Digger’s perspective, he’s a little street tough/naive in the way that he’s written. He knows he needs to take responsibility but he learns this lesson the hard way. Escaping from his detention center of course isn’t the best idea but his motives/heart is in the right place. In the long run I think breaking out was the best thing for him because he learned so much about himself and from the people that he met.
His journey feels like a real adventure and this character is definitely a survivor. He makes friends and even meets a possible love interest too. As you read you’ll really become invested in the character and what’s going to happen next.
The ending was surprising and leaves the character with a lot more hope than he started with.