Perfect Score

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Perfect Score

SUMMARY: ( blurb taken from the publisher's site)

Feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated. But drifter Sam's two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister's medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability. At this time the word "dyslexia" is generally unknown so to most people he's just a "retard". From the severe knocks life's dealt him, Sam's developed a tough outer coating and he has no time for a spoilt, selfish guitar player.

Despite his defects, Alex's love for Sam never wavers and when Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearful enemy: Alex's powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.

As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex's evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what's the mystery behind Alex's father's death?

Both seem to face unbeatable odds. Are they doomed to follow separate paths forever?

FIRST LINE:

Justice for all God's Children. My uncle had been in a good mood but reverted to type when he spotted the poster.

PLOT:

I have to be honest, I did not know what to expect from the author when she requested a review. I did not know of her or her work and the book blurb pointed out that her book was far from the genre I normally read. I am so glad I stepped outside my little cocoon of 'safe' reading.

From the first page of Perfect Score I was transported into a time and place lost to the younger generations, a time and place I can only understand through reminiscent stories of the older generation. Alex's and Sam's story takes place in the late 60's when the understanding of dyslexia and acceptance of homosexuality were taboos never to be spoken of in many households. The author did a wonderful job bringing both topics to light while not chocking the reader on her view point. Which was very refreshing might I add. The plot is riddled with many obstacles for both Sam and Alex to overcome and by the end of the book all the plot threads and story questions were answered, leaving the story on a satisfactory note.

Ms. Roebuck wrote a story true to its time period with a plot full of intrigue and real life emotions and drama. Their story reminds me just how reserved and confined society was and just how far we have grown in the last half century. A very thought provoking story. I'll leave the plot twists to you to discover, but I'll say this...who needs enemies when you have an uncle like Alex's!

SETTING:

Perfect Score began in 1963 when Sam and Alex first met as young men in the city of Verdigris. Then it progresses to 1968 when Sam and Alex met up again on The Pike Ranch. The author lavished the settings with just the right amount of detail so that I could visualize the surroundings and how life was on a ranch in the 1960's.

WRITING:

The lingo the author used for the time period was a small set back for me. Not being from the time period, it was hard to understand Alex's chose of words to express himself. I thought the author's writing style unique and strong. I did find it interesting how the author delivered her story in rotating view points. Which is something I normally don't like in my reading. However, it did allowed me to experience the story from both mind sets, giving me a deeper view to the author's theme. Like I said, this book broke all my reading rules, showing me there is more out there to enjoy and that discovering new authors is like finding a new flavor of chocolate to add to my stash!

CHARACTERS:

Perfect Score is based on two very intriguing main characters, Sam and Alex.

While I might have had a hard time understanding his lingo, Alex was a complete attention grabber for me. I loved when the view point changed to his because the author allowed him so much room to show the world who he really was at heart, if only in his thoughts at times. I do admit to having a hard time understanding him at first, but I gradually saw his angle on life as the story progressed. It was interesting to follow how he fell in love with Sam. It didn't quiet satisfy my tastes for a romance book but then again this book isn't really a romance read.

Sam surprised me by the depth of perception he had towards life. While he suffered my the lack of the ability to read and write and suffered from dyslexia, he had a strong hold on the things going on around him. He held a deep love to help those around him and a kind heart even when faced with all the obstacles thrown at him in life. Growing up on the streets after his mother died and being bullied for his disabilities served to make him stronger as an adult, whereas it could have made him into the twisted man of an uncle Alex grew up with. I thought that a very positive twist on Sam's character, one I enjoyed very much.

LAST THOUGHTS:

When I finished reading Perfect Score I felt like I had caught a glimpse, as if through a window in time, of what life was like in the 60's for people like Sam and Alex. I am glad I took a chance on Ms. Roebuck's Perfect Score. She took two very difficult topics, threw in a deeper topic of which you will read about with Alex's uncle and delivered a unique, yet very good tale. 


Book Blurb for Perfect Score

It's the 1960's and feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated. But drifter Sam's two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister's medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability. At this time the word ""dyslexia"" is generally unknown so to most people he's just a ""retard"". From the severe knocks life's dealt him, Sam's developed a tough outer coating and he has no time for a spoilt, selfish guitar player.

Despite his defects, Alex's love for Sam never wavers and when Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearsome enemy: Alex's powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.

As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex's evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what's the mystery behind Alex's father's death?

Both seem to face unbeatable odds. Are they doomed to follow separate paths forever?

Perfect Score is about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless. In other words, it’s a story about life with a bit of romance thrown in. 


Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2011 4.00