About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Timeless Love Story

Cover image courtesy of medelgado.com
The First Sandcastle: A Novel
by M. E. Delgado
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Barrio City Press (March 2, 2008)
Rating: 4 stars of 5 possible

The First Sandcastle is a coming of age story about a young man growing up in a dysfunctional family. The main character, Marlo Clemente, attempts to reconcile the love he feels for his mother and the warped view of life taught by his father... that women are evil.

Marlo's art and his friends provide solace from everyday home life. When one of Marlo's friends (Danny) falls in love with a girl who uses Danny for her own purposes and then crushes his hopes and dreams, this only reinforces what Marlo has learned from his father.

How Marlo deals with the further confusion that sets in when he meets a girl he feels is unlike others is a captivating story that gives the reader a lot to think about. The peer pressure of growing up, and the issues a normal teen must deal with, along with the not-quite-separate issues that evolve from the family's dysfunctional relationships among themselves and others are deeply felt by the reader. The timeless feel and the steady pacing of this story should provide a basis for a wide audience, though I have the feeling that it is also the ideal YA novel.

Mr. Delgado builds the highly emotional story to a dramatic climax and makes the reader feel every minute of Marlo's pain when he discovers that he's just as his girlfriend's mother says: "exactly like all the other boys". Marlo's relationship with his own mother improves and she helps him realize that we are all human and fallible.

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