New from RM Gilmore, creator of the bestselling Dylan Hart series.
17 Marigold Lane (a Prudence Penderhaus novel)
Prudence Penderhaus was just an ordinary weirdo until the day one word changed the course of her life forever.
Giving up on life, a risky move turns her world upside down and uncovers an odd boy no one knew existed.
Trying to cope with her life at it stands, Prudence juggles her own emotions as she peels back layers of small-town secrecy that have been hiding right under her nose.
With a newfound purpose, she and her odd boy turn the town of Flintlock on its butt in the pursuit of truth. Uncovering more than she bargained for. Murder.
“My name is Prudence Penderhaus. I’ve never done anything remarkable. Never even bothered to look up. Until the day I realized I was dying.”
An excerpt from the story:
“You mean… she might have to lose her arm?” Mom’s voice was shrill with tears on the verge of spilling.
“We’re not even considering that at this point, so please don’t worry.” She looked at me and changed the subject. “How’s your pain? I see you’re guarding that arm.”
“Your nurse wrenched it and damn near killed me.” I had no patience for anything at that moment and wanted nothing more than to be at school with Cassius. “I’ll be fine. I just want to go to school. Can we go now?”
“You’re still in school? Excellent. That’s what we like to hear. Just be sure you take it easy, get plenty of sleep and don’t forget to eat. You’d be surprised how quickly your body can turn against you when you’re neglectful to it.” She smiled, charming and radiant; it was no wonder she went into medicine, she certainly had excellent bedside manner. “Have a boyfriend waiting to hear the good news?”
“He’s not my boyfriend.” I said too quickly. “I mean, he’s a boy and he’s my friend, but he’s not my boyfriend. He’s just a good friend that needs me.”
“That’s good you’ve got someone you’re close to. Just make sure he’s giving back what he’s taking. You’ll be needing him soon too. Someone has to grab you frappuccinos and hold your books open for you.” Her smile practically lit up the room.
“He’s not really the take-care-of-others type.”
She pulled her eyebrows in. “That’s too bad. You’ll have to show him how it’s done.”
“He’s a boy with Asperger’s. He’s not a boyfriend and he’s not a caretaker.”
She sat quiet for a long minute. Tilting her head to one side, she looked at me sympathetically. “That boy has all the potential in the world to be both of those things, and better than most boys out there, if you give him a chance.”
I hadn’t considered Cassius a boyfriend because in my head, he didn’t have the capacity. In my head, he was innocent like a child and would never have those types of needs or wants. He could hardly take care of himself, let alone me.
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A Bookaholic’s Fix Review:
I had the privilege of getting a early look at this one. I am continuously amazed by Gilmore’s ability to weave an intriguing tale with characters that defy the norms. This one is no different.
Prudence Penderhaus isn’t the typical type of teenager even before she learns she’s sick. She tries to stick to the shadows hoping not to stand out which is a difficult feat considering everything from her height to her hair makes her stick out like a sore thumb. But all the things that make her different are what make her the perfect candidate for this particular adventure. If she were ‘normal’ she wouldn’t be willing to take the chance that leads her to uncover a mystery right down the road. Cassius Shooster isn’t a typical teen either. At least Prudence is neurotypical (NT) while Cass has Asperger’s, a disorder on the autism spectrum that makes it difficult for him to understand things NTs take for granted in social interaction like figures of speech, inflection, sarcasm, and body languge. Life for him is very different than others his age.
I love the way Gilmore develops her characters. Never content to have the stereotypical cast of characters, she sets hers apart from the flock. Prue is strong despite her illness and she is determined not to let fear dictate her life. She is a teenage girl but she isn’t concerned with clothes, makeup, boys, etc. she has more important things to worry about. Instead of boy bands, she’d rather obsess about horror flicks. She is fiercely protective of her new friend and doesn’t care one bit that others try to warn her away from the strange boy. All of this adds up to create a wonderful character that would normally be relegated to the background but Gilmore brings this oddity front and center and makes her the heroine of the tale.
Then she extends her cast of main characters to include a boy that, under normal circumstances, would be secondary at best yet she brings him out of the shadows (figuratively and literally). Cass’s characters is superbly crafted. If you are unfamiliar with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), let me explain a little something: every person with ASD is different. While many share similar mannerisms or quirks, ASD effects everyone differently. I have a teenage son on the spectrum and while he has more difficulties than Cass, I recognized the aspects unique to the spectrum just like I do when I encounter Aspies and other ASD individuals so I found Gilmore’s depiction to be spot on. His tale, which unfolds in the story, is complex and at times heartbreaking but there is also hope for something better.
The story is filled with twists and turns and it kept me glued to my computer screen until I finished reading the entire thing. It is YA but don’t let that deter you. It isn’t one of those teen angst filled books. It is a well written, intriguing story that just happens to center around a couple of teenagers close enough to adulthood to behave like humans. I loved the story and Gilmore has created yet another world that I want to get lost in. I hope to see more Prudence Penderhaus stories in the future because this one definitely earned a 5-star rating and has me hungry for more.
What are they saying about 17 Marigold Lane?
“If you love a smartass, caring, take no crap, odd teenager, you will love this book. ” – Tonya, Abibliophobia Anonymous
“Loved the characters, the plot. Loved everything about it.” Nicki Scalice, author Revenants in Pergatory
“I don’t usually do young adult novels, but this one was amazing!.” – Tara Dawn, author Sojourn
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