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Book Review: The Stuttering Tattoo by Greg Logsted

So I know it’s Monday, but I’m posting a book review today because at my regular rate of one per week I cannot get everything posted in the timely fashion that I would like. There will be another book review tomorrow, as normally planned, and also one on Thursday. Sorry for any confusion, however in addition to being woefully behind on book reviews, I’m also woefully behind on my To-Do List item to establish a personal glitch in the space-time continuum that would allow me to bend the laws of time/space in my favor and allow me to duplicate days every now and again when I need to. Go figure… ;)

And so, without further ado, I bring you a Book Review Monday! Today we are rejoining the world of YA fiction. My review copy of The Stuttering Tattoo was generously provided by the author, Greg Logsted, through the good folks at NetGalley.

Steven Bishop is a regular guy living a regular life (well, except for the fact that his dad is a cop and that his best friend is a grown man and former Colombian drug cartel enforcer, who also happens to be his boss and the person teaching him martial arts) – until he meets a mysterious new girl who shows up at school one day out of the blue. His experience with her changes his life – and not just in the way you’re inclined to think for a YA novel. This isn’t just about teen love and angst, folks, this one has a mystery built in.

It’s your classic boy meets girl, girl needs saving, boy steps in story – right up until you meet her “family”, a tightly knit collection of gypsy-like drifters living largely off the grid. Throw in Carlos, the former drug enforcer dude and a mysterious tattoo, and things get really interesting. And violent. Fast.

The ensuing tale of Steven’s fight for the girl is an enjoyable one, full of the obligatory ups and downs. His faith, perseverance, and friendship (and, of course, love) in and for Becky are a breath of fresh air in this age of short-term flings and short attention span theater. There are enough original elements to keep the story from feeling too cliched. It’s a pleasantly diverting read that reads authentically enough to hold a teenager’s interest. There is some gratuitous violence, but not really any more than you encounter in your average television drama these days (I’m talking regular, network TV, not cable). There is also some underage drinking and more waving about of fake-IDs than sits well with me as the step-mother to a twelve year old girl, but sadly I think that there is probably a lot of truth to the representations made in this regard (sometimes the world we live in stinks, because I really shouldn’t have to admit that, but I do). And the romance between Steven and Becky dances a rather fine line between being believable and not going too far for comfort.

It’s a well written story that offers a few new spins on the classic tale of forbidden teenage love, and well worth a look.

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