Plot: Raising Mary Jane, the story of a character who stumbles into the business of growing marijuana, unfolds at an even pace, balancing the introduction of new characters and new tragedies with the protagonist's steady personal development.
Prose/Style: Van Allen's vivid prose expertly balances pragmatic storytelling with more introspective lyricism. The author establishes a striking sense of place, both through descriptive passages and historical references.
Originality: Though Van Allen's narrative follows a somewhat familiar trajectory, the author ultimately offers an energetic underdog story with poetic flare and charisma.
Character Development: Wesley isn’t a terribly deep character, but he is eager to learn, and as the story progresses, he trades his naivety for maturity, his hesitancy for sureness. Before the reader's eyes, he grows and transforms into a memorable and impactful protagonist.
Date Submitted: August 08, 2019