July 4, 2012

Echoes From the Academy by Jeffrey Mann

Sid is sitting in his car with a bottle of vodka between his thighs and a pistol in his hand.  As he looks back at the last year of his life, he can't believe how he had gotten there.  How had he strayed so far?  His life was alright... but now, it was a complete disaster.  There's only one way out.

Sid is a good kid.  He's sometimes misunderstood and misrepresented but all in all, he's a decent teenaged boy.  He comes from a great family... a father that's a provider and loves his family, a mother who loves God and always listens to her children and a sister who is wicked cool and even hooks him up with her pretty friends.  Life was good.  But his life takes a turn when he gets kicked out of school for allegedly selling drugs... a complete misunderstanding.  With few options remaining, he decided he wanted to try military school.  He was ready and eager to become a man.

His father reluctantly agreed, under the condition that he would attend for an entire year, no matter what.  Even if it got hard, he would have to stay for a full school year.  Sid accepted under those turns and was ready to start a new chapter.  But when Sid got to military school, it wasn't quite what he expected.  And it wasn't the strict discipline that brought him down, but he was actually fearful for his life!  The events that took place within those walls were more frightening than his worse nightmares.  The only thing that brought him through that tortuous year were two best friends that he made there.  But even they could only help so much...

As he finds himself in that car, sorting through the details of the life he once had and the life he now had, he thinks there's only one choice now.  As he remembers the pain and abuse from the past year, he thinks there's a sure way to forever forget.  What will Sid choose?  How will he ever get out of this mess?

Surprisingly, this is a 100% true story... not "based on a true story", but actually true.  Some of the events seem so extraordinary or extreme and that's why it's so surprising and exciting to hear that it's all true!  The book offers a great deal of hope for any young person coping with depression or struggling with their identity.  The writing is easy flowing and fast moving... great for a YA crowd.  Beware of some violent content, so lean towards the more mature side of YA.

4 Stars

Now available on Amazon!

I received a complementary copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  This is my honest opinion.

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