It’s the third week in August, which means I’m heading north for my annual road trip, my pilgrimage to Chicago. I got the red Mustang out of the garage and had her detailed. The windows are down, I’m driving fast, and my collection of mix tapes are blasting at full volume. I have one weekend, and it’s going to be an all-out bender. I’ll hit some of the usual highlights: catch a Cubs game, visit a museum, and maybe take in a bit of the Air and Water Show. I may catch up with old friends, but probably not. I will meet a girl. I will start with good intentions; I will try to be nice. I will be the best that I can be, whatever that means. There is only one thing on the schedule, one thing I must do before leaving. You see, there’s a box that’s been sitting on my mantel for the past year. A small wooden box, surrounded by pictures, that has never been opened. Before leaving, I must take care of the Target Box. That I know.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10
Plot: This well-paced novel features a captivating and heartbreaking plot. Readers will find a lot to like here.
Prose: The author takes readers on a realistic tour of Chicago. The horror of the death of the narrator’s wife and daughter and his resulting despair are palpable.
Originality: The concept of creating a tradition to cope with death isn’t unique. But the way the narrator goes about completing it has an original spin.
Character Development: Each character has a life of his or her own. Their distinct personalities are well crafted. Readers will relate to the loneliness the narrator feels despite his attempts to surround himself with people.
Date Submitted: July 27, 2018