Olive Peart certainly knows her teenagers, and she knows the segregated high school world of cliques and misunderstandings. Linked tells the tale of two teens, one black, one white, whose lives are oddly similar despite their obvious differences. Unfortunately for them (or perhaps fortunately) their lives are also linked. When family problems stretch relationships with those they love to breaking point, this curious link between two boys who've never even met grows suddenly strong.
The author handles the curious relationships formed when two boys switch bodies in a fun, relatively convincing, and surprisingly intricate style. Each can feel the others' pain. Both feel betrayal. And each views his neighbor's world through a mixture of pre-conceived ideas and the fresh eyes needed to shed light.
"I don't want to be black," says one. "I don't want to be white." With true teenage flexibility, they forge ahead and find their worlds not so different; their needs and desires almost the same.
Resolution comes when both boys learn to respect each others' advice. Then black and white adults come to their families' aid and show themselves in shades of pre-conceived prejudice too. The boys are left to guide and build on what they've learned.
Linked is a fast-moving story. There's no long lingering thoughts and diatribes. But the thoughts that the tale inspires linger long after the telling. I'm grateful to the DeMarche Publishing for letting me read this, a fun teenage novel, with a neat mix of action, science fiction and social science, and some wise lessons to learn.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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After witnessing a violent quarrel between his parents, Greg feels confused, resentful, and angry. His father accused his mother of having an affair fifteen years ago. If it's true, this man may not be Greg's father. Into this mix comes the link. Steve hates his stepfather. He has struggled for years to find out why his mother would choose to remain with a man who physically abuses her. His fear is that his stepfather is actually his real father. Frustrated and angry, Steve goes for his stepfather's gun. And then there is the link. Neither boy is able to deal with their family problems. And suddenly, help is available-they switched. Greg is now faced with Steve's family problems and Steve has Greg's. But that's not the least of ita ""Greg is black and Steve is white. Fearful that no one will believe the switch they struggle to survive.