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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 02/2018
  • 9781775111108
  • 282 pages
  • $14.99
Ebook Details
  • 02/2018
  • B0797629L6
  • 220 pages
  • $4.99
The Boys Who Danced with the Moon
Can you ever escape the past? Kiran Wells, a mid-30’s professional living on the West Coast, thought he was safe until an anonymous letter arrives from his hometown. Its only contents- an old newspaper clipping about a drowning twenty years earlier. Leaving career and friends behind, Kiran returns to the place of his youth to find the conjurer of his past. Kiran is a quiet and shy teenager with a taste for alternative music growing up in a suburban northern town during the mid-80's. The arrival of two students, the confident and rebellious Marius and the naive, cloak-wearing Moony, awaken Kiran. On the eve of graduation, fate turns the volume off in Kiran’s world and his memory fades to black. Returning to his hometown, Kiran is forced to confront the demons that haunt him. His future depends on whatever hope he has left and the life or death decision he must ultimately make. Will he hear the music again? The Boys Who Danced with the Moon is a coming of age tale of friendship, youth, and love.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: This skillfully crafted YA mystery novel revolves around a past event that continues to haunt its protagonist. Oleksiw offers a realistic portrait of a suburban town in the 1980s and of the ties that bind individuals to the place of their origins.  

Prose: Oleksiw works in a clear, lyrical prose that effectively conveys the unfolding events, while kneading at the more elusive aspects of the story, as filtered through time, tightly held secrets, and memory.

Originality: Oleksiw deftly blends a coming-of-age story with elements of a mystery, resulting in an insightful and refreshing YA novel with crossover appeal to an older audience.

Character Development: While the protagonist remains somewhat of an enigma throughout the novel, readers will come to know him through his relationships with other characters. The circumstances of the mystery will keep readers fully engaged, as will Kiran’s quest to rediscover, or perhaps reclaim, his soul.

Date Submitted: May 09, 2018

Reviews
IndieReader.com

The story begins with two boys rescued from a dangerous river, one of them taken to the hospital in a coma – but there are reliable reports that three boys went in. Years later, Kiran Wells, the boy who was injured, has fled his hometown and is trying to make a life for himself – but mysterious envelopes arrive at his home, with news clippings and poems that won’t let him leave the past behind him. Over the course of the book, his memories and his story unfold – but can he come to terms with his own guilt and grief, and rebuild the relationships broken by the tragedy that ended his childhood?

THE BOYS WHO DANCED WITH THE MOON is poignant, bittersweet, and rich with the joys and sorrows of adolescent friendships. The characters are by no means dull – cynical, playful, defiant Marius, dreamy, eccentric, frequently wise Moony, and Kiran himself, full to the brim of words and poetry and young love. This is not the book for a lover of rapid action – it starts slowly, and for the first few chapters, it’s easy enough to wonder where it’s going. But hang on – once Marius is introduced, and he and Kiran become fast friends, the tale gains energy and heart in spades.

The memories unfold themselves gradually and deliberately, but powerfully. The author deftly immerses readers in the intensity of adolescent emotion, seen through the rosily wistful haze of adult recollection, and these boys are easy to love. The actual central event of the novel is rather sudden and anti-climactic, but it’s the reactions to it, the emotions and the divisions sparked by it, that matter, and those are clear and plain. The story would perhaps be more effective, however, if the beginning chapters were substantially trimmed and the ending extended. As it is, the ending feels a bit too quick and neatly resolved for the emotional intensity of the middle part, and there’s room for further exploration there.

THE BOYS WHO DANCED WITH THE MOON is a tender and poetic look at adolescent boyhood, and its currents will draw the reader along almost as powerfully as those of the river at its heart.

~Catherine Langrehr  for IndieReade

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 02/2018
  • 9781775111108
  • 282 pages
  • $14.99
Ebook Details
  • 02/2018
  • B0797629L6
  • 220 pages
  • $4.99

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