In The Scrape: James Newman & Mark Steensland
Reviewed By Miranda Crites
- Print Length: 104 pages
- Publisher: Silver Shamrock Publishing (1 July 2019)
Thank you to Silver Shamrock Publishing for the review copy of In the Scrape by James Newman and Mark Steensland.
James Newman and Mark Steensland are at it again with yet another fantastic collaboration. This time, it’s not about cheating wives and getting “the special”, but a coming-of-age story that will tear out your heart and make you wonder if you are going to make it out alive. In the Scrape had my blood pumping at lightning speed through my veins and my heart pounding, wondering what was going to happen. I couldn’t get my eyes to focus on the words fast enough to satisfy my brain!
Jake is almost fourteen years old. He and his little brother, Matthew, live with their abusive father. Their mother left them when they were younger, and, according to their father, it’s all their fault. The boys have planned to run away to California so they can get away from their horrible father and finally reconnect with their mother, but it hasn’t been easy to rake up enough money for tickets and to make plans without their father finding out.
Life isn’t hard enough as it is, so of course a group of bullies have to make things even worse. After standing up for himself and Matthew, Jake gets put on the spot when the leader of the bullies, Caleb Caldwell, ends up in the hospital, and the cops come sniffing at their door.
At this point, it’s time for the traditional family hunting trip to the cabin. The plans to run away start to fall into place. Caleb Caldwell and his father have some plans for revenge of their own which throws a huge stick in the gears of months of meticulous planning. A lot of hidden secrets from the past are brought to light out in the woods at the cabin. All who walk away from the tragic events that go down during this hunting trip will never be the same.
I couldn’t help but think of Stephen King’s It while reading In the Scrape. In ways, I can see Beverly Marsh’s father in Jake and Matthew’s father. I saw Caleb Caldwell as a version of Henry Bowers.
In the Scrape comes in at around one-hundred pages. I read it in little snippets during breaks throughout the day, but I wish I could’ve devoured it in one sitting; it’s the perfect length for that. I didn’t want to peel my eyes from the pages. I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I went about my day. I still think about this book, the unforgettable characters, the outcome. I came away forever changed, too.
This is definitely one of my favorite books of 2019. I’m looking forward to more collaborations from James Newman and Mark Steensland. I can’t recommend this book enough.
In The Scrape
Most kids dream about a new bike, a pair of top-dollar sneakers endorsed by their favorite athlete, or that totally awesome videogame everyone’s raving about. But thirteen-year-old Jake and his little brother Matthew want nothing more than to escape from their abusive father. As soon as possible, they plan to run away to California, where they will reunite with their mother and live happily ever after.It won’t be easy, though. After a scuffle with a local bully puts Jake’s arch-nemesis in the hospital, Sheriff Theresa McLelland starts poking her nose into their feud. During a trip to the family cabin for the opening weekend of deer-hunting season, Jake and Matthew kick their plan into action, leaving Dad tied to a chair as they flee into the night. Meanwhile, the bully and his father have their own plans for revenge, and the events to follow will forever change the lives of everyone involved…
Miranda Crites is a reader, book reviewer, photographer, writer, and lover of horror from the ghostly woods of rural West Virginia. Miranda has always enjoyed reading, photography, and writing. She received her first camera as a gift when she was nine years old. The writing bug bit her at a very early age. She won the young writers’ contest in first grade and never stopped writing.
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