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Raising Mary Jane
It's 1969, and Wesley Daggert arrives in Big Sur, CA with just a suitcase and $300. He is soon swept up in an epic adventure including wildfires, wild parties, and marijuana cultivation. We follow Wesley's early dabbling in growing marijuana to his becoming one of the largest growers of high grade sinsemilla on the coast.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.75 out of 10

Assessment:

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 The author establishes a striking sense of place, both through descriptive passages and historical references.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

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