The Summer of Guinevere by John V. Madormo

The Summer of Guinevere by John V. Madormo
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (244 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Paulie Passero, underachiever, high school junior, wants the courage to talk to a girl. A road trip from Chicago to rural Pennsylvania doesn’t interest him until his father emphasizes the need for a second driver. Why must they go? Paulie’s dying grandmother disowned her son twenty years ago, and fences must be mended. Unprepared for Smalltown USA, Paulie is bored at first but notices a girl in the back of a passing pickup and is immediately enamored.

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Paulie yearns to help this troubled girl escape the clutches of an abusive father, but will his interference only cause her more harm?

What sixteen year old is thinking about 1968 world events? Not Paulie Passero.

When I first started reading this book my thoughts were, oh no a sixteen-year-old boy that’s girl crazy, I’m not sure if this is the book for me,  a forty-six-year-old female. I am so glad that I continued reading. This book is so much more than a sixteen year old being crazy over every cute girl he sees. This book is about family …dysfunctional, abnormal, broken families. Paulie has only heard about his dad’s side of the family and, this summer, he’s about to take a road trip from Chicago to Pennsylvania with a dad who he’s not that close with.

I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing. I looked forward to each chapter to see what Paulie was getting into. Following Paulie’s point of view through out the book was well written from a teen’s point of view. Though the topics of the book are a variety of deep subject matter, Paulie’s personality adds in a taste of humor. I think the storyline is unique and very well told. I felt that the author gave a lot in making the story so full of lively characters and events. I enjoyed seeing Paulie’s growth. He stared out as an unpopular kids with one friend, and mediocre grades. Now he is being faced with meeting a family he doesn’t know, in a small town where everyone knows everybody. The first day he lay eyes on Guinevere Thompson, a girl who has three mean and bullying brothers and a evil father.

As the story advances I was proud of Paulie at the end. He went from a guy who didn’t have a voice around girls to standing up to bullies, taking chances on being punished by his dad for not listening. Paulie matured into a teenager with courage and heart. Though the book is told by a teen and about a teen, the story evokes subject matter that may not be suitable for teens. The subject matter, though hard to digest I think is what set the book apart from other teen love stories. I would like to read more about Paulie as he adjusted to his return home. You’ll miss a great experience if you don’t read this book.

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