Saturday, December 31, 2016

They Never Came Home, Ransom, and Gallows Hill

In They Never Came Home, Dan and Larry disappear during a hiking trip in the mountains. Joan is Dan's girlfriend and Larry's sister.  Frank is is Dan's brother.  Joan is threatened by a man who claims that Larry owes him money.  She confides in Frank, and soon, the two young people find themselves caught in the middle of a smuggling ring.

The way the story develops is intriguing, and I love how Joan and Frank end up being pulled into the mystery.

This is an excellent book.

In Ransom, five students are kidnapped while riding home on the bus.  Most of the students are from wealthy families, which is why they were targeted.  The teenagers are taken to an abandoned cabin up in the mountains while their families are contacted for ransom.

For me, the most interesting part of the plot is how four of the five teenagers experience personal growth during the story.  One teenager does not, and I somehow knew as I read the book that this teenager would not change.

This book is also excellent.

In Gallows Hill, Sarah and her mother move to Pine Crest so that Sarah's mother can be with her new boyfriend.  Sarah doesn't understand what has gotten into her mother, and soon Sarah finds the entire town is against her.

Gradually, Sarah realizes that something more important is at play and forces unknown to her are the reason why Sarah and her mother moved to Pine Crest.

This book is a bit depressing.  Everyone is against Sarah, and she can't catch a break.  When other students play pranks on Sarah, neither Sarah's mother nor her boyfriend believe her.  I found it quite annoying, especially since the text is excessively wordy during many of the scenes. The concept of "less is more" would have made this story better for me.

While I overall enjoyed the book, it's probably my least favorite Lois Duncan book.

I have created a Facebook group for enthusiasts of vintage teen books such as the ones reviewed in this post.  Please follow this link to join.

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