Saturday, August 10, 2013
Pocket Piece Cameo by Rob Costello
Raised in a small Pennsylvania town, Jill and Blake seem the unlikeliest match of all. He is a star athlete, but as a football lineman, he is self-conscious about his size. She's a thrill-seeking acrobat and gymnast, a tomboy who prefers computers to boys. Allison, on the other hand, seems to have it all: beauty, brains, talent, and ambition. But epileptic seizures scramble her life and her outlook. All three are upended by a treachery breathtaking in its audacity and shattering in its impact. Can any love withstand a betrayal perfectly fashioned to destroy it? Pocket Piece Cameo is a coming of age story that tests the limits of love's resilience, of loyalty to a promise, of the distance love can travel, and the worst it can endure.
Pocket Piece Cameo is a lovely book, almost poetic in its writing. However, I had difficulty believing Blake. He’s about fourteen when he talks with his grandmother about true, deep, everlasting love and she gives him the cameo his grandfather gave to her. It’s a family heirloom that he passes on to Jill, his first love. But Blake’s a jock—a good-looking kid with raging hormones. In my experience, most high school boys aren’t looking for deep, everlasting love, especially football players. Their hormones are driving them to sew as many wild oats as they can. Most boys that age aren’t having much luck, but when they’re thinking about girls, they’re thinking about sex—not how they can forge a relationship that will last the rest of their lives. And they certainly don't read Jane Austen so they can plan how to make relationships last a lifetime.
Before I wrote this review, I asked my granddaughters to poll the boys they knew if they thought about long-term, deep, true love relationships. They couldn’t even get answers. The only boy who said he thought about that kind of love was my grandson, Alex. But he almost died when he was a baby and is now on the list for a kidney transplant, so I suspect having a different perspective on mortality might give him a different perspective on love. His answer surprised me, though, since it was the weekend of his mother’s third wedding and this year marked the thirtieth anniversary of my divorce. It’s not like he’s had a plethora of role models in that area. More marriages today end in divorce courts than last “till death do us part.” Kids today don’t see that many examples of the kind of true, deep, everlasting love for which Blake is searching.
If Pocket Piece Cameo had been written by a woman, I would have given it one or two stars and been done with it. But it was written by a man, so maybe Alex isn’t as rare and wonderful as I think he is. (Well, okay, he is rare and wonderful—he’s my miracle genius grandson who is a sci-fi fan like me and who writes!) So, if you can believe that Blake manages to get past his hormones and think with his brain and his heart, and that he reads Jane Eyre and Jane Austen on his own—not for English class, then you will enjoy this book.
Length: 272 Pages
E-Book in Multiple Formats: $1.99
Thanks for visiting. RIW