I started thinking about some of the perilous things that have happened in my life, like:
- Getting caught in waist deep mud in an irrigation canal while going after my favorite toy mermaid. I didn't drown, thanks to an older brother who pulled me out. But I didn't get my mermaid back. *sniff*
- Being run over by a car when I was 3. I remember getting woken up in the middle of the night in the hospital by the nurses shining flashlights in my eyes. Rude!
- My sister and I slid several times on our butts on the cement slopes underneath a freeway overpass. It wore holes in the seats of my jeans.
- Pretending to be characters in a story that were magically transported to another world. Of course, the paranoid neighbor's yard was much more otherworldly than mine. They called the cops on me for peeking in their windows. (It was a castle! And I was, like, 9 years old.)
- Getting completely and inappropriately screamed at for throwing those red berries on decorative bushes at passing cars. I figured out after several unsuccessful attempts with my friends that in order to hit the car, you had to throw the berries just before the car passed. This psycho guy slammed on his breaks, backed up, and chewed me out up one side, down the other, and then repeated. My friends all bolted and I stood there taking it. To the psycho man: it was a child-size handful of red berries on your windshield. Go get some help for your road rage.
- Exploring several derelict buildings that were probably on the verge of collapsing. As a mother I have nightmares my kids will "explore" in their mother's footsteps.
- Having the police called on us because we discovered that super rubber balls bounced incredibly awesome in the post office (off all the PO boxes) and it was the perfect place for a rubber ball bounce off. Not so much.
From the back cover:
Jaci Rivera has plans for her sophomore year: go to regionals with the track team, make the honor roll, and eat too much pizza with her best friends, Callie and Sara. Her biggest concern is Amanda, the pushy girl who moved in a few months ago. What she doesn't plan for is catching a robber red-handed, or being kidnapped. The desperate thief drags her and her friends 2,000 miles across the Canadian border. They escape from his lair, only to find that he has spies and agents watching their path home, waiting to intercept them and take them back. Then Jaci finds something out about her family. Something which irrevocably connects her to their kidnapper, and makes her question their chances of escape.
My perilous experiences don't hold a candle to what the girls in the book go through. Kidnapping, murder, escape, trekking across the country, corrupt law enforcement, etc. Perilous is a true YA suspense that will keep readers turning pages to find out what happens. And there are rumors of a sequel/series to help tie up some loose ends.
Confession: For some reason I had in my mind that this was a paranormal. Once I realized I was completely mixed up, I enjoyed the book much more since I wasn't waiting for a vampire/werewolf/demon/angel/witch/psychic to show up. This is no way a criticism of Perilous, it's more a confession of my own airheadedness.
Overall I enjoyed the book and recommend it to those who like suspense.
That being said, there were a few things that marred my enjoyment of the story.
I would have liked to know the other girls that were kidnapped along with the main character. I almost started thinking of them as sidekicks, and sometimes had to stop to remember who was who. If some chapters had been from their point of view, I could have connected with them more as individuals. For example, after a particularly traumatic thing happened to one character, it would have further invested us in the story to show in her own thoughts how her experience completely changed her outlook and approach to circumstances. I wanted more about the characters and how they changed, rather than just the events happening.
The girls also spend a lot of time on the run in wilderness areas. I think there needed to be more set up at the beginning showing that the girls actually had survival skills. Even just mentioning one went camping all the time with family, or something. If you dump your average 3 teenage girls in the wild--even with a few supplies--there's no guarantee they even know how to start a fire or find shelter. That pushed the believability envelope a little for me, but I wanted to know what happened so I suspended my disbelief.
Perilous will be out Nov. 16th, but I think you can get it now on the Kindle. You can find out more about Tamara, her books, and her blog tour on her website, at tamarahartheiner.blogspot.com. You can also read the first page of Perilous on her site.
BIG NEWS: Tamara is doing two giveaways in connection with her release.
First, anyone who comments on a blog tour post is entered to win a copy of her book. That giveaway begins October 15 and ends November 15.
Second, ONE person will also win a KINDLE.
Whoever gets the most points during those two months wins.