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Sunday, September 16, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: "Cheeseland" by Randy Richardson

How do you mend a broken friendship? For Lance Parker and Daniel McAllister, the answer is simple: road trip. A trip to Wisconsin should be just the ticket to come to terms with the trauma that had drawn them apart. The journey of recovery is filled with comical twists as the two teens navigate Cheeseland, a place that blurs the line between adolescence and adulthood. The journey of recovery turns into a journey of discovery, as secrets are revealed. Cheeseland is a novel about loyalty, friendship and the self-destructive nature of secret-keeping and unresolved anger.

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CONVERSATIONS BOOK CLUB REVIEW: Randy Richardson's CHEESELAND Reminds Us Of The Preciousness of Life

There's nothing better than being able to enjoy your youth and make the most of time you have growing up. I think all of us would agree that when you are young it is almost expected that there will be some antics that get you in trouble, but you can use them as learning opportunities for the future. In CHEESELAND, however, we are also able to see that even in youth there are issues that can fester and grow and cause you to lose hope for anything better.

Author Randy Richardson introduces us to Lance Parker and Daniel McAllister, two young people who have had their share are great times but when a friend ends his own life there is something that seems to end with them as well. To help them find their way back figuratively, the two decide to take a literal road trip. What happens along the way and years later will not only threaten their friendship but their very lives as well.

This book is one of those coming of age stories that although full of good times and laughs carries the seriousness that comes with life and decisions we face. Told in Daniel's voice we are able to take this "ride" with the characters, get a better look at how they deal with situations but also understand how they get to where they end up.

Richardson takes us through the trouble in the home that spills into the trouble in life, creating a cocktail that seems doomed from the beginning. Daniel seems to take the hits and move forward, but Lance doesn't seem as fortunate. You will not only feel these characters. I believe you will see them as friends of your own.

Delivered with skill and captivating from beginning to end, CHEESELAND rmeinds us of the preciousness of life and the importance of making the most of each and every day.

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