Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Last Sewer Ball by Steven Schindler

What’s a sewer ball? It’s what you go after in a sewer manhole when you can’t afford to buy a ball to play stick ball with.

It started on the stoops and playgrounds of the Bronx back in the 1960s. But now Vinny is on a quest to track down Whitey after decades apart to find out what really happened to their friendship. Could family tragedies, a war, and perhaps even murder, break a bond that was forged long before eighth grade graduation? Secrets that have been simmering since childhood bubble to the surface and eventually explode, when past and present collide with not-so-instant karma.

When I first saw this title on the list of book I could choose from to read and review this time around I was curious to see what this title was all about. At first I was going to pass it up but the title alone kept catching my eye and so I chose it! When I received the package with the books enclosed I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t know what to expect from the cover let alone the book; I was quite surprised when I looked at the cover of the book and read the summary. I was glad to find out (thanks to the explanation on the back cover) exactly what a “sewer ball” was. After reading the summary I was really excited to start reading this book. On the back cover it explains that it’s a sort of sequel to another book; but I have never heard or read of this author before so I don’t know what the first book was about.  

 First let me mention how I love the way the chapters are laid out. It goes back and forth between the present and the past when the main characters were younger each chapter states whether it is “now” or “then” and I love that because I didn’t have to take a minute to figure out what time period the author was writing about. I really enjoyed how one of the main characters “Vinnywas bound and determined to track down an old friend and to find out exactly what happened to their “friendship.” I knew what to expect starting this book, but as I got through part of the book it really took me by surprise when “Vinny” asked a guy about “Whitey” and the guy mentioned that he heard “Whitey” had died quite a while back. I thought for sure the book would have ended pretty close to that revelation, but it didn’t. “Vinny” didn’t believe that “Whitey” died and he was still hoping to find him and the story kept going with “Vinny” trying to track his old friend down. I won’t spoil the ending for anyone I don’t think it’s fair to reveal everything. 

I love how the language is in this book; when I read the book I could imagine the way the characters in the story were speaking to each other with a Yankee accent and I could start reading that accent between the characters. Reading this story reminds me of my great grandmother and the stories her and my grandmother would tell of them growing up; granted it wasn’t on the streets of the Bronx, but they were from back East so they had that accent as well. I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves to read regardless of the genre he/she prefers. If you’ve read the first book then you will definitely want to read this one as well. Now that I have read this book I plan to go and buy the first book and read that one as well. I love how this author writes and how easy it is to follow the characters in his story. I give this book and the author an “A+.”

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Tiffany

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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